Ridiculous Bill

So, i received my latest bill for Dec-Jan and was shocked that i used £420 of energy in one month!!

My account was £200 in credit so i reduced my payments to £5 a month to lower the amount. So im now £200 in debit!

This works out at £16 a day! Last month that was lower than a quid a day. This time last year it averaged £2 quid a day!

What gives? Do i really owe this much? I know the ‘big four’ have higher costs throughout the year but freeze your costs during the winter… but the charge goes against all averages so far!

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First question. Is you bill based on estimates or actual figures? If it’s the former, a meter reading will correct your account.

Yep…mine too. I just don’t know what’s going on. Mine was £300!

I repeat the question to you. Is it estimated or actual usage?

It was from a manual meter reading. I just resubmited again and the number was accurate because i thought i made a mistake.

The difference between the estimate and the actual reading was 1000+ but still doesnt explain the higher cost compared to the year before or last month.

How can anyone use £16 worth of gas a day? The elecricity part was fine.

So on your statement there should be a gas usage, compare this against the unit costs. £16 a day seems excessive. We did have a cold snap about 2 weeks ago.
If you have a suspicion your gas meter is faulty you may be able to get that investigated


I have just received a bill for £500 when my monthly usage is £49. I’ve been in to bulb every month since my meter was changed out for smart meters. They never answer or reply. Time to call my Lawyer I feel.:angry:


I would suggest contacting OFGEM - they were very helpful

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Many people claim to have sent in a manual reading, if this is sent in no matter how often, if it is outwith the 3 day time frame then estimates will be used.
You can send in 20 readings per month but if not at the correct time you will be on estimates.

Although if you send a reading like 2 days before you should, the estimate should only be out by a factor of two days of higher usage not a whole month.

This is based on smart meter readings. Unfortunately the 2nd gen smart meters Bulb use can’t seem to work with the home units they use so I am unable to confirm the readings they are using. I have the app which shows 7 bill corrections for the 2nd of Feb. Adding a total of £450 for one day.

I’m on a smart meter so every reading is automated and my bill is all messed up to… 5 lines on the bill show a total credit of £755 and then the last line is a debit of £888

The result looks about right but what the hell??

Remember if previous bills have been underestimated, then when you do eventually get a real bill all the extra usage will appear all in one month. That doesn’t mean you’ve actually used that amount in one month, just that it’s all appearing on one bill.

All of these issues sounds like they’re caused by estimated bills, either because no readings were submitted, or because Bulb can’t bill properly based on the smart meter readings they’re receiving. Don’t get distracted by the dates, they’re mostly irrelevant. Just look to make sure the readings being used are actually accurate.

Even if your IHD isn’t working properly, you can still get the readings manually directly from the meters themselves just like you always used to do.

Whilst this is of course very frustrating, I can only suggest trying to remain calm studying the statements methodically to understand what readings have been billed and where any estimates have been used. Luckily this is just a mathematical problem and there is only one correct answer, so it’s easy to prove what the actual bill should be.

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Would this not compound so that after, say 6mths, the estimate would be 12 days

If this is the case, this should be on the statement rather than priced up to look like energy usage.

Why didnt it happen last year instead of waiting for a stupidly high lump payment?

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This is not correct.

If you send in meter readings at the wrong time, they will still appear on the statement. If you sent in 20 readings per month they would all be used. Only the final closing reading on the statement date would be estimated.

e.g., if you submit a reading on the 15th, and your bill date is the 20th, then only the 5 day period between the 15th->20th would be estimated meaning that hopefully the estimate doesn’t have far to go wrong and the bill can’t be too far out. The reading on the 15th wouldn’t be ignored completely.

If anyone is finding that the readings they submit aren’t appearing on their statements at all, then something else is wrong causing the readings to be completely rejected and you need to talk to Bulb to find out why. This is a bigger problem than simply submitting readings at the wrong time.

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There are insufficient data to be able to do this. You said “the difference between the estimate and the actual reading was 1000+” so lets look at a worked example. I’m going to assume someone didn’t submit a meter reading for 5 months, I don’t know what the real situation is because you haven’t given anywhere enough detail, but lets go with this for now.

August - Actual read 1000
September - Estimated read 1100, actual read not submitted 1200
October - Estimated read 1200, actual read not submitted 1400
November - Estimated read 1300, actual read not submitted 1600
December - Estimated read 1400, actual read not submitted 1800
January - Actual read 2000

The bill for January will be for 2000 - 1400 = 600 units of usage even though all your previous estimated bills have been for only 100 units of usage. That doesn’t mean that in January you’ve suddenly used all that energy in one go. You’re just “catching up” on the previous underestimated usage.

It can’t be back-dated to show the actual previous usage, because without the actual meter readings there’s no way to know where that usage actually occurred. You’re right that it could have been avoided last year if the estimates had been more accurate. This is the problem with estimates, they can vary between wildly under and wildly over the actual usage. The only way around it is to submit a monthly meter reading and so keep on top of your actual usage.

If you look back through your previous bills, and note the date and value of all the meter readings used (whether real or estimated) you should be able to see what’s happened. If you like, post the info on here and we’ll (as in, us fellow customers) will take a look.