Puzzled by recent price increases

I understand oil and gas are going up in price but i thought i was buying sustainable electricity. Shouldnt this be insulated from these changes?

to an extent you are correct. You will see that the increases are very marginal with bulb in comparison to the big 6.

Although your electricity is fed to the grid from renewable energy sources only about 10% of the gas is bio ethanol, the rest is your traditional gas so there will be a price increase because of this.

For more background, see also -


Tell me about it i am not actually with bulb yet. I am in the middle of switching and already had a email that its going up!

To put it simply, wholesale electric has a single price regardless of the source. So all suppliers will be impacted by gas prices increasing electric prices, even if they aren’t sourcing electric from them.

Hi guys, you’re all quite correct, thanks for that. I can explain in a little more depth too, if you like @fcenviro

There are really two things happening here. Firstly, all our electricity is renewable, but only 10% of our gas is renewable, so the rising gas prices affect us quite a lot. The other thing is that, essentially, the cost of electricity in the UK is pretty much the same for each area, regardless of the source of the electricity. The generators sell their electricity to suppliers at a cost per kWh which is either agreed with the supplier a few months in advance (known as a power purchase agreement, where a supplier and a generator agree to buy/sell a certain amount of electricity in a certain time period for a certain price) or it’s bought on the wholesale market at a price which varies day by day, but doesn’t vary depending on the source of the electricity. The generators are guaranteed a price for the electricity they produce for a few years by the government when they’re built, and after that they sell their electricity either through power purchase agreements or on the wholesale market.

So essentially all the electricity (and gas) in the uk is sold to the suppliers at the same price regardless of source. There’s a small additional price that we pay for renewable obligation certificates, to guarantee our electricity (and 10% of our gas) is renewably generated, and we have a few power purchase agreements, but beyond that we’re affected by the rising electricity and gas prices just as much as anyone else.

Oh, and @SteBee I am sorry to hear the prices rose so soon after you joined, we really don’t like having to raise our prices at all. Since we only have one tariff, we have to raise prices for every Bulb member. We gave as much notice as possible so that you have plenty of time to think things over.

We tried to keep all our members as informed as possible, we emailed all our members last month and all new members since then to let them know about the possibility of a price rise. We’ll try to keep improving.

For more information, take a look at the blog posts @198kHz added above, especially: https://bulb.co.uk/blog/energy-price-watch-changes-to-our-energy-prices-june

Can David at Bulb please explain why our increase is 4.7% for electricity and 13.4% for gas. This does not appear to correlate with Bulb’s table of figures for the South East that Dan P at Bulb has published in response to another community forum members enquiry. I have tried enquiring with Bulb, but my question was not answered to my satisfaction. I have escalated my complaint on 15/6/18 and I am still waiting for a response. Perhaps you can give me the answer I requested?

Hi there @TracyH I believe I’ve found the chart you mentioned in another post, if it’s the one I found then it’s a chart of the cost for an average house in London (per year)? If so, then the reason your price rise isn’t the same as that comes from two things. Firstly, it looks like your property is in a different region to the one the chart’s looking at (it looks like your property isn’t in the South Eastern area either, in terms of the distribution zone for your gas and electricity). Secondly, that’s based on the uk average consumption of electricity and gas, 3100kWh of electricity and 12500 kWh of gas per year. The actual rises for each of the two fuels is different (the percentages you mentioned), so the actual amount per year change will vary between different houses. Does that help? If not, could you pop a link or something to the table you’re talking about into a post, so I can take a look?

Hi David.
The chart you looked at is the wrong one. The chart I refer to shows the regional price increase as a percentage for the South East, i.e. 8.32%.
The chart was posted by Dan P at Bulb to Rog on 13/6 at 1:12pm in reply to Rog. https://community.bulb.co.uk/discussion/comment/15930/#Comment_15930
We have been writing back and forth to Bulb since 12/6/18, and Bulb’s replies have not supplied answers which are clear to us. The latest correspondence was our emailed reply to Chris at Bulb this morning, for the same reason.
Our current prices are:
12.74 p/kWh (electricity)
2.94 p/kWh (gas)
Bulb is proposing to increase our prices to:
13.34 p/kWh (electricity)
3.33 p/kWh (gas)
That is a 4.7% increase on the p/kwh price for electricity and a 13.4% increase on the p/kwh price for gas.
We would like to know why Bulb is proposing to increase our price by an average of 9.05% on the p/kwh price for gas and electricity instead of the published price increase of 8.32% on the p/kwh price for gas and electricity for the South East.
Chris at Bulb seems to indicate that it has something to do with our high usage previously. We would like to know why Bulb passes on higher price increases to customers who use more energy, and how Bulb calculates this higher price increase. We would also like to point out that we very much doubt that we use 1.5 times the amount of energy compared to the “average household”, as Chris stated. We are two people living in a two bedroom, single storey, well insulated, semi detached house. We would like to know what Bulb suggests can be done to rectify the above issues.
Thank you.


That table is the % increase for a ‘typical’ home. Not % increase per kWh in your area.

If your house is efficient like you say, then the % increase to your bill could be less than shown in that table (as it assumes you use much more gas than electricity, and gas has had the bigger increase)

But again, it seems like you’re wanting to see a table showing the % increase per kWh?


No, thats not really what we are asking for. Thank you for the input in your post sent at 1:49. We are new to all of this and are appreciative of anyone who takes the time to help. We have tried to get answers to our questions through Bulb by email since 12/6, but have not been able to make conclusions through Bulb’s replies. Through the replies that we got from Bulb, we came to the conclusion that 8.32% is the price increase on the pence p/kwh price to all customers in the South East. That is on the basis of adding electricity price and gas price and dividing by 2 to come to an average. Not also on an “average household” usage as you have pointed out. We are hoping that David at Bulb will confirm this. What you say makes sense as to how Bulb arrives at 8.32% on the price increase, although our usage supposedly being 1.5 times the average will remain a mystery (as I have said that is just not possible) . Whast we would really like to have is a reply from David at Bulb to confirm that Bulb is increasing prices throughout the South East by 4.7% for electricity and by 13.7% for gas. I would also like to know why there is such a large regional difference in price. I have been told that it is down to distribution costs, but do the distribution costs really vary that much? We have found the advertising connected to the price increase misleading when Bulb says it is 5.1% for the average household, due to the large regional difference in price.
Thank you in advance for any input from other community members and from David at Bulb…

@TracyH It is quite complicated because the increase to the unit rates is not the whole picture. Standing charges have not changed and makeup around £15 a month for dual fuel. The figures in my table you quoted from another thread are for the typical household using 3100 kWh of ele and 12000 kWh of gas.

It is all about the ratio of how much you use vs the standing charge.

If you used no energy at all then there would be no increase to your prices as the standing charge (daily charge) has remained the same. If you use a tremendous amount of energy then the standing charge staying the same means less and the increase will be closer to the 4.7% increase for electricity and a 13.4% increase for gas as you mentioned.

Energy doesn’t cost the same amount in each reason for a few reasons such as the distance of homes from generators and the density of homes in the region and can affect things quite a lot. These affect how we increase our prices as well. For a typical home, averaged across all regions the price increase will be around 5.1%

Thank you for your respinse Dan P.
Please can we discuss only the price difference stated in Bulbs price increase letter to us please.
Bulbs price increase letter to us states an increase from 12.74 p/kwh to 13.34 p/kwh for electricity which is 4.7% more, and an increase from 2.94 p/kwh to 3.33 p/kwh for gas which is 13.7% more. Are these increases correct according to Bulbs published increase for our region? Secondly, are we in the Southern or the South Eastern region as far as Bulbs distribution is concerned (Ive heard both and want to know which one is right). We are in SO19 4BT. Thank you for your help.

I have received a reply back from Bulb that 13.4% is the gas price increase for gas and 4.7% is the price increase for electricity in the southern region - thank you.
To clarify further, can Bulb please tell me if SO19 4BT falls within the southern region or the south eastern region as far as their distribution is concerned? On 25/6 at 8:46, David from Bulb said “Firstly, it looks like your property is in a different region to the one the chart’s looking at (it looks like your property isn’t in the South Eastern area either, in terms of the distribution zone for your gas and electricity)”. However David did not tell me which Bulb distribution area SO19 4BT is in? Can someone at Bulb clarify please.

@TracyH Your property is listed as Southern England

Thank you Chad, much appreciated.