Unable to reduce monthly payments

I have noticed that my credit with bulb is increasing every month, and my monthly payments are way above my usage.
I’m paying £100 a month, my last bill was £40…My bills have not been above £100 this year.
When I have contacted bulb I am told I need to increase my monthly payments to £123 rather than being able to reduce them.
I’m not sure I can understand the justification in this, any help would be greatly appreciated!
(I am also currently £246 in credit with bulb)

Have you submitted readings for the last bill?

If Bulb refuse to let you reduce, change supplier. There are deals 20%+ cheaper elsewhere.

Thank you, I have a smart meter so they have up to date readings.
I may have to start looking elsewhere if I can’t get it resolved…

Sounds similar to this that Iogged, although I am only slowly gaining credit at the moment as my payments are well below their recommended minimum and always have been.


I’m not sure I can understand the justification in this.
Seems to have become the norm with bulb since the lockdown.
To prevent everyone from lowering their payments(thus causing a cashflow problem?)
You have two choices. Stay with bulb and hope the situation resolves itself.
Or change supplier, which many of us done after their pathetic lowering of the gas price and raising the leccy tarrif to compensate

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Hi @laurahelme - welcome to the Bulb Community

I have just sent you an email so we can take a closer look at your specific Bulb account as this doesn’t seem to be the case with the description of your account.

Following recent changes in guidance we now are unable to change members payments to less than 90% of the recommended amount, these changes are to help avoid members getting into debt and establish a sustainable payment plan.

We’re implementing payment reviews on members to get your account back to a healthy position. We want to be flexible with this and you are not required to increase your monthly payment to the whole amount.

You may build up credit in your account due to the payment cycle at Bulb. We take payments at the beginning of your monthly billing period. This means you pay for your energy in advance. When we take your monthly payment, it goes from your bank account into your Bulb account. When there’s money in your Bulb account, this is called credit. At the end of the monthly billing period, we charge you for the energy you’ve used by taking credit from your Bulb account.


If you’d read what @laurahelme said you’d see that none of your response was applicable to this particular situation. When you Copy and Paste an answer you’ve got to be careful to tailor it to each individual case.

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Hi @xxx

Thanks for your comment today. I have emailed Laura since responding to this review to discuss her account specifically. For both security reasons, as well as privacy, we don’t discuss members payments or account details on a public forum. I will take your feedback on board when I am responding on the Community in the future.

My response aimed to outline Bulb’s current policy with regards to reducing payments and the payment cycle at Bulb in order to help any other members which may have a similar query.

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Seems they are trying to place a smokescreen over already muddy waters, a stock answer where “one size fits all”.

@laurahelme Please tell us if lower payments have been agreed. Will help others judge if Bulb’s payments calculators are up the creek!

Thank you for everyone’s support, I can confirm that Bulb have been in touch via email and have agreed to reduce my payments and returned part of my credit, which I am happy with and feel that the matter is now resolved.
Thanks again,


Bulb are going through and increasing EVERYONE’S payments. They just increased mine by 66% - despite ME increasing them in April.

Apparently being on furlough without enough money to cover the mortgage let alone a HUGE unecessary spike in their bills is irrelevent.

I shall be changing supplier. Mortgage company, even council tax said “don’t worry about us until Corvid sorted”. Bulb we want 66% more or you can send your bank information to a random company who will tell us if we can decrease payments.

Goodbye, Bulb.

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Hi @ctclarke23 Welcome to Bulb’s Community, we’re happy to discuss the recent change to your payments.

We’re increasing payments for our members who have a debit balance, this is to prevent an unmanageable debt from being built up on the account and we don’t believe pausing payments will help, as you’d still be billed for your usage.

Our partners Tully are experts in financial management, which is why we’re working with them, to ensure that our members have an easy and accurate tool to calculate a workable payment amount.

I’m sure you will have been linked to the article on Tully already, but for anyone who is interested to read how this works we’ve posted here. I can see you’ve raised a complaint over email, we can continue to discuss anything account specific there to reach a resolution

Thank you for your cut and paste, stock reply.

I am on Economy 7 - as I was when I joined you. I OBVIOUSLY use more electricity during the winter. During the summer almost nothing. So I am going to be in debit during the winter. Bulb can’t grasp that and wants me to pay for my winter use before I get a chance to claw that deficit back during the summer.

I’m sick of explaining that to you. If I wanted to pay in advance, I’d have a pre-payment meter.

Secondly, practically every other company and organization has noted the fact that half the world has been furloughed for the past six weeks. They have been understanding. Bulb has dramatically increased payments and made it incredibly difficult to get it sorted. That’s bad business.

I don’t care who Tully is. I’ve never heard of them. I am not sending bank details to random strangers.

Bulb tells me they have stopped my next direct debit and I can make a direct payment for this month. Guess what, not according to my bank. I think you’re angling for double payments. I’m not sending you a penny until I am certain you aren’t pulling the DD.

I have found an alternate supplier and I’ll be switching over the next few weeks.

I liked one tariff but I don’t like your business practices, nor the fact you can’t grasp how Economy 7 or storage heaters works.

Please don’t waste my time with stock cut and paste answers.

And the first person I spoke to told me she’d changed the debit. The second one confirmed she hadn’t. So I don’t believe a WORD you people say.

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Hi @ctclarke23,

I’m really sorry for this frustrating situation. Unfortunatley, to lower to your payments further you would need to go via Tully or one of our approved external financial advisors.

I can see that you have an open complaint about this, so I do highly recommend you reply to that email so we can come to a resolution you’re happy with. Furthermore, I will also message the energy specialist who is handling your case so that they are aware of dissatisfaction with this process.

My recommended minimum has risen dramatically. I was £100+ in credit and the recommendation was about £80. I added a £500 top up as I have a spend target on a credit card, and now the recommendation has risen £108, though it was £122 about an hour ago. My average use is £920 a year.

What email?!

One of your advisors said she’d opened a complaint and that’s as much as I’ve heard.

Bulb really doesn’t care. I’ve paid you this month and by next month I should have my new supplier online.

I offered to increase my payments. But not 66% and not without any reason. Bulb doesn’t understand Economy 7 or storage heaters and if you don’t then don’t offer the tarifF!

I’m sick of trying to get it through to you.

Oh and when I just paid you this month through the “top up” system - you better NOT take this months DD - I was given THREE different “we recommend you increase your monthly payments to” figures.

You are using a dartboard!

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It would seem that bulb used the carrot and stick aproach, and they have chosen the big stick.
It would seem that they have tarred all they’re customers with the same brush. ie: those that can pay, those that can’t and those that won’t.
I and many others left when they took the Peter and Paul aproach(lower gas and increase leccy)

to the pathetic lowering of their gas prices on 1st April( the biggest April fools joke since the spaghetti tree)

@ctclarke23 the email @Noah_at_Bulb referred to was the one confirming we’ve raised a complaint for you and to detail what we’ve done regarding the increased payment amount. I’d advise replying that thread if you’d like to discuss the specifics of your account further, but appreciate you may not wish to if you’re switching away.

Payment review is there to flag accounts where members are behind on their payments, having an economy 7 meter does not preclude accounts from this process. We accept and account for members using more energy over the winter and that the account balance may dip below one month’s credit and even slightly into debit. However, it wouldn’t be responsible for us to allow a potentially unmanageable debit to build. If the suggested payment on our system isn’t workable for you, or you don’t believe you’ll need to pay that much due to usage patterns, we have the quick and easy process with Tully, they will then send an appropriate payment amount over to us.