If we move to the smart tariff and then find out after a few months that we are just not saving any money because we are using electricity during the Peak Hours can we change back to the standard tariff?
I think it’s the same tariff whether or not you have a smart meter.
@JTHS38 I’m in this exact situation. We were fortunate enough that our SMETS1 meter could provide smart readings to Bulb and initially taking a look at Bulb’s Smart Tariff it seemed to be a good idea to try.
Unfortunately, after 2 months of testing the Smart Tariff I’ve found that due to the peak rate between 16:00 and 19:00 even just a small usage of 0.7kWh during this period dramatically increases our bill, to the point where our “effective unit rate” is above Bulb’s Vari-Fair rate. From experience unless you have an Electric Vehicle I cannot see many people saving anything on the Smart Tariff. Especially not user’s who’s peak rate is above 30p/kWh.
Thus, I’ve requested today, over the phone with Bulb, to move back to the Vari-Fair standard tariff. They said they could do this. Though I’ve not seen any change to the account yet, not sure how long it will take.
But it would appear that yes, it is possible to move to the Smart Tariff and back to the Vari-Fair Tariff.
If you are interested in testing the Smart Tariff I would take a careful look at your usage between 16:00 and 19:00 and the unit rate you will get at this time here: https://bulb.co.uk/smart/. Also check that your existing meter is sending readings to Bulb (last I read Bulb were only allowing some SMETS1 meters onto the Smart Tariff as they were not yet able to move the new SMETS2 meters). Also if you don’t have an EV, personally I doubt the Smart-Tariff will be financially worthwhile.
I was going to end our Smart tariff experiment, as even by dodging cooking, showers, heating and washing machine use during 4pm-7pm it still costs more than the standard tariff. We also found it a bit too lifestyle-enforcing, e.g. having to wait for 7pm before doing things.
I did initially use the washer and dryer at night, but I became too aware/concerned about the fire risk. I don’t want to burn the house down to save 8p a load. I’ve found that our new A+++ washer and A++ heat pump dryer use roughly two units each, so not really very much whatever the tariff.
In the end I decided to move to another supplier instead of switching tariffs, our all-day rate is now less than the Bulb’s Smart tariff daytime rate anyway. A bit more at night, but we haven’t (yet) got a leccy car. Even with one, you’d still need to be careful and keep a check on it.
@IveGotThePower Found exactly the same thing, waiting till 7 to make a cup of tea, only to still not find the daily cost cheaper than the Vari-Fair unit rate was more than frustrating. Ultimately the life-style change is just too restrictive when the peak unit rate is so high. Also, to anyone considering the smart-tariff, bare in mind that if you do by chance forget about the peak rate and use the oven, iron, washer, etc, your day expense may end up being £1-3 pounds more than on the standard rate. This risk is just far to great and has caught us out a couple of times.
Honestly if you’ve got or are considering an EV I would recommend a certain other provider’s, GO EV tariff. As that only has two rates; a Day-Rate at about the same as Bulb’s vari-fair and a 12:00 - 04:30 (5p/kWh) Night-Rate for charging an EV. We are planning to move to this in the next coming months when/if we get an EV.
The continued poor support from Bulb, lack of communication and missing statements, never-mind the gen-2 smart meter mess, has definitely made us question sticking with bulb.
Yes, we had a couple of ooops moments too, where I’ve ended up racking up a big number on the smart meter. Our shower’s 8.5kW, so costs over £2.50/hour on the penalty rate. I’ve stopped working early so I can have a shower while it’s still cheap, which really isn’t helping the house to get refurbished!
I agree on support too, it’s terrible. I’ve so far received 3 estimated bills since switching, they say it takes several months to establish contact with the meter. I can only assume that the meter radios its readings every 30 minutes to smart meter HQ, after which a benedictine monk writes them onto a scroll using a quill pen before sending them by pigeon to Bulb. There’s no other explanation that makes any sense. If I ask Bulb about it I just get some scripted reply about smart meters in general, if I wanted that I’d search Wikipedia. Their general staff don’t even know that this tariff exists, there’s a special department for it that seemingly don’t talk to the rest of them.
It’s not possible to switch back off this tariff online, and I’d doubt customer service’s ability to do it because, as I said, they don’t even know it exists.
My account is now in arrears, as the estimated bills don’t take seasonal variation into account so the estimated bills were double our actual usage. I’m hoping that they manage to make sense of everything for a final bill after I’ve switched suppliers, I’ll definitely be keeping a very accurate record of everything at the point I take a final reading.
I realise this is new and a bit of an experiment, I can make allowances for that. But there’s no excuse for it taking months to bill properly, plus I very much doubt that this tariff makes any economic sense for anyone.