Time for Customers to Wake Up to HUGE BULB CHARGE INCREASES

I joined Bulb in July 2020 just over a year ago. My first bill (inc VAT) the electricity charge was 14.175p/kWh and gas 2.919p/kWh giving an annual bill of £1,503
Then in my October 2020, April 2021 and June 2021 there were THREE increases in charges.
From 1st October 2021 there will be a FOURTH increase - Electricity will be 20.669p/kWh and gas 4.169p/kWh giving an annual cost of £2,137 an increase in a year of £633 or 42% . This an increase of £327 or 43% in electricity charges and £306 or 41% in gas.
There seems likely to be yet another increase after March as well as the 1st October charges will be reviewed yet again after 6ths.
Yesterday I was informed my direct debit was going up from £130/mth to £177.69/mth despite having a credit balance of £350.27
I suspect the average Bulb customer has not taken in the huge increases in charges that the variable tariff has allowed.
If all the energy purchased for electricity is from renewable sources why a 43% increase in just over a year?
Also clearly the Direct Debit increases are cavalier and badly calculated.
I don’t think Bulb have any idea the financial misery all these increases are going to create.

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I am afraid that you miss the point. It is the wholesale market that has driven prices to this level.
You cannot expect any company to sell to you at less than their cost, although with the energy price cap most are. This is why 6 energy companies have gone to the wall in the last couple of weeks. We must consider ourselves lucky , that to date , Bulb is not one of them.
I am sure that your "financial misery"is not the on the Bulb mission statement it is just a by-product of these times. I am certain that a better deal than the one you are on is not available, so we all have to hunker down and weather the storm, which may be a while in passing?


It is a fair question I think why the volatility in wholesale prices are affecting a company which purchases all its electricity from renewable sources. Why? Prices linked to the price of gas or oil? Insufficient hedge contracts to mitigate against spot price volatility?
I appreciate that Bulb with its variable tariff is not as exposed as suppliers who have fixed price contracts but clearly there are huge problems ahead at post October price increases which I doubt many have yet appreciated.

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Those were PfP Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, UtilityPoint, People’s Energy, Avro Energy and Green. Also, Hub Energy failed in August.

And another 3 this week - Enstroga, Igloo Energy and Symbio Energy.

EDIT [1 Oct]: And now OFGEM are “having words” with 5 other suppliers who have failed to pay renewables levies when they were due (which suggests they may be in difficulty).

I’m waiting for details of my OFGEM safety net tariff from British Gas (having been bumped from the failed PfP). Ok, it seems they’re available online - 24.996p/kWh day & 12.933p/kWh night (E7) for electricity, and 4.053p/kWh for gas.

Meanwhile, Good Energy’s “Green Driver 7” tariff is currently quoting me 23.88p/kWh for electricity (reduced to 7p/kWh for 7 hours at night) and 4.39p/kWh for Gas.

So Bulb’s current figures don’t look out of line with other suppliers.

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Unfortunately, much of our renewable are sources from Wind and Solar sources and here in the UK our wind and sun have been pretty abysmal this year. The appetite for Nuclear Power stations is very mixed and the alternative of localised Nuclear Cells around the country , which looks like a sensible alternative , are being denied he space at Energy shows and like venues because the
Greens and the silly left think everything should be bicycle pedal powered.
Everyone appreciates the need to reduce fossil fuel usage, but we do not have to return to the Stone Age to do it.


They are not really energy companies, merely energy bill payment platforms. There are far too many in the market. Some run by absolute shysters.
Bulb has yet to turn a profit and appears unlikely to do so. It started out as a novel and innovative idea but has been caught out by a perfect sh*t show of pandemic, geo-political unrest, the Chinese moving from coal burning to gas, blah, blah…you get the picture.
Any government worth its salt should be looking for home sourced energy and not be reliant on energy from other parts of the world.
There is plenty of oil and gas still in the UK North Sea fields (several decades worth). Start using that.

All happening at a time where all the emphasis in transport is now towards electrification of cars by 2030 and the replacement of gas boilers (installed by British Gas!) by heat pumps. All putting huge extra demands on the fragile electricity supply and distribution system. See how they fare with electricity at 25p/kWh.
Hinkley C costing £23 billion and new ones even more with French Technology and Chinese investment. What could be done with an equivalent investment in alternative technologies.
Time for a G & T !

Make mine a Large one :grin:

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Out of interest, how does that break down between electricity and gas?

It may sound trite, but have you looked into ways to reduce or mitigate your consumption needs [recently]? For example, some years ago I was able to substantially reduce the amount of gas used for central heating by having the cavity walls insulated (I live in a 1940s house that was built without CWI). Doing so paid for itself in under 2 years.

I totally agree to be self sufficient in energy at the best possible price should be the aim of the government. It’s pretty obvious wind and solar have actually added to the consumer costs with the massive subsidies that are paid to them. £10 billion subsidy a year to wind farm projects paid for by the consumer. The FIT payments paid to solar panel owners also paid for by the consumer.

Steve I have a 4 bedroom 1970s detached house and annual consumption is 4,843kWh electric and 22,845kwh gas so my consumption is not excessive I don’t think for the size of the property and 3 person occupancy.
The electric has been reduced from around 7,000 kWh pa - mainly changeover to LED lighting and a heat pump washer dryer has helped. The gas was around 36,000 kWh before changing to a condensing boiler, CWI, loft insulation, double glazing Hive electronic control.
So my further energy reducing options are limited and would require significant capital investment - such as Solar Panels, external insulation, triple glazing, heat recover ventilation.
The joke is the intended move to phase out gas boilers for heat pumps but with a COP of 3 and electricity at around 25p/kWk they would be nearly twice as expensive to run at current gas prices of around 4.2p/kWh.
It seems to me the rocketing price of electricity is the key problem and would be keen to know how this has been accelerated by making existing electricity customers bear the cost of all the subsidies the renewable suppliers are getting to make their investment worthwhile.

I think you have hit on the real problem - existing customers are bearing the brunt of all the huge subsidy payments to renewable suppliers to make their offerings viable.
Electricity at around 25p/kWh, nearly twice the price I was paying just over a year ago will have an enormous impact on our lives as fuel bills as a proportion of our income become ever more significant.

My net annual consumption is now about 3900kWh (after ~1100kWh contribution from Solar PV), but I do run a lot of electronic equipment and I’m at home more than I used to be, which outweigh the savings from CFL/LED lighting and using as much as possible at cheaper E7 times. Some of the electronics may go over the next couple of years (if this “cloud” stuff really takes off, or I get to partially retire :smirk:).

Holy s**t!

I’ll admit I like things on the cooler side (18½-20½C), so have my CH on fairly low (and there’s only me), but my annual gas consumption is ~4000kWh for a 3 bed semi. I have a Nest thermostat to manage timings, but there’s only one radiator circuit (so it’s the whole house or not at all), and no TRVs.

My house is not up to modern standards of insulation, etc, but it’s hard to make the economic case for some improvements simply because I’m not using a huge amount of energy to keep it warm enough in the first place! But if I were looking at the kind of consumption you’re dealing with, I think I’d be much less laissez-faire about it (even after the sort of progress you’ve been able to make).

The “green levies” have been substantial for a while now, but we’re just about at the stage where their growth should stop, as the solar PV and wind turbine industries are now mature enough to be viable without subsidy (eg I’m now seeing regular announcements about new solar farms being commissioned on a subsidy-free basis). But it will be a good few years before the contracts for 1st & 2nd generation kit (that required subsidy to be viable) begin to expire (eg the earliest Feed-In Tariff rates were at a high level, before it gradually tapered down to almost nothing, and then closed to new entrants a couple of years ago)

The counter to hopes of reduced green subsidies is the concern about upcoming decommissioning costs and cleanup costs for things like the ageing coal-powered stations and nuclear plants that are due to be closed down in the next decade or so (as well as ongoing costs for such that have already been switched off).

Ok, I’ve just been looking at the cost of current solar PV kits (some of which are self-install!), and it looks like you could buy 5kWp worth of PV for about £6k (I paid just under £7k back in 2012 for a fully-fitted 1.1kWp system - so almost 5x as much PV for similar money now).

If my maths is right, this means you can probably get a 5 year loan to buy enough solar PV to cancel out the electricity bill for close to the price of that electricity bill (assuming a decent credit score) - almost zero-cost from day one, and be quids in once that loan is repaid.

Yes I have been thinking along the same lines - once electricity hits around 25p/kWk this will make a number of initiatives economical I am sure.
4kW of solar PV is more the likely size for my house and at around 1,000 kWh per kW installed and 50% directly used instead of importing and rest exported to Bulb that would give a saving of £600 and not far off the projected increase. More saving too with battery storage (but at higher capital cost).
Another thought - an alternative to export balance to Bulb with gas around 4p/kWh and around 80% efficient would be not to export but directly heat the hot water.
Cash in the bank is presently zero return so any cash used rather than a loan is better if possible.

We have Air source heating and 4 Kw Solar panels.
The panels charge a battery, heat the water, run the house and export if anything left over.
Our system charges the battery at off peak rates if needed prior overnight. This will all disappear rapidly once the heating is turned on, but, on our west facing roof, not the ideal, but is saving us a considerable amount of money compared to the period prior to installation of the panels.
Not the best summer to run solar as the weather has been grey, but expecting better in a normal year.
Good value investment and also reasonably climate friendly.

I think BULB is taking the opportunity to rip us off as we can’t compare at present. I am being asked to pay over DOUBLE we paid a year ago. Unless something is done fast I will move as soon as I have the chance. I agree with someone else I will pay costs when they happen not on projected as we will try to use less energy due to the crisis. This is total blackmail as we cannot move. Also the point of renewable energy so Bulb prices should not increase so much. I can’t find a way to even contact BULB. Not happy. Paul Newbold

It is also ironic the tariff is called vari- fair as it really isn’t very fair !!

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I’ve moved to British gas evolve now. Bad reviews I found but we will try. Cannot put up with being ripped off.