Variable Direct Debit

I’d much rather pay by Variable Direct Debit: much easier to understand the bills, much easier to see what I’m really paying, and none of this nonsense about building up a credit or debit as the months go by. No other commodity insists on fixed direct debits: you just pay as you go with petrol, water, food, etc.

Please offer this option if you don’t already do so.

Yes, that’s an interesting one: numerous utilities have adopted this business model, suggesting it’s a way of helping the consumer budget over the year. I’m sure it does help many people, but the net effect for the utility is of course a wedge of free money/credit from the consumer, which helps their liquidity. If (and it is an if as I don’t know what makes bulb in particular tick) my rolling credit (approx £250 at present) helps bulb maximise its efficiencies and supply green energy at the best price, then I for one am happy with the arrangement - especially as the benefit of getting less expensive energy far outweighs the return I would get if I put that £250 in a savings account :slight_smile:

Hey @gerry1 and @willmow , thanks for your input on this. It’s an interesting conversation.

We basically want to offer whatever provides the simplest and cheapest deal for our members. The idea from our members’ perspective is that they get consistency with their monthly bills and smooth out the seasonal fluctuation they’d otherwise experience.

We really don’t want people to build up a lot of credit (or debit) as that’s not actually the point. It should be just the right amount to balance out over a year. This is why you have the choice to lower your payments and easily request refunds. We can give advice on this at any time.

Going forwards, if variable direct debits are what you’re after, it’s 100% something we’ll consider. This is especially something we’re going to be looking into with the roll out of our smart meters, as they’ll unlock a lot of potential in accurate billing.

id be interested to see how variable direct debits would effect the value you’d be able to offer. I 100% prefer variable direct debit (was one thing i liked when on British Gas), but not if the price i pay over a year goes up.

If Rachel’s right and smart meters mean trustworthy reads, then I imagine utilities will start offering both payment modalities, variable and fixed. It also means utilities having to adjust their business models to account for reduced predictable cash flow.

@willmow, I suspect that as an averaged group, we’re actually very predictable in terms of energy use, and therefore cash flow.
Some people will go on holiday and use less electricity in a month, but some people will just have come off holiday to account for it.

They can still predict usage accurately enough to know to fire up power stations during advert breaks in popular TV shows…

@mowcius, bulb is not a generator, but I take your point. What I meant to say is that the business model will have to cope with much reduced cash flows in the summer months. But all this is speculation :slight_smile: