Want to find out my energy usage - no response from Bulb

Hello,

I emailed Bulb support at help@bulb.co.uk five days ago and nobody has responded to me. Not sure why their customer service has become so bad. Hopefully someone here can help me.

I’m looking for specific information about how much electricity I’m using. I’m on a two-rate Economy 7 meter and wondering if I might be better off on a single rate tariff.

Can someone please provide me with the following information:

• How many kWh of electricity I’ve used on my day rate over the last year (or a total for 2021 if easier)
• How many kWh of electricity I’ve used on my night rate over the last year (or a total for 2021 if easier)
• The current cost per kWh of both my day and night rates on my current tariff
• The current cost per kWh of a single rate tariff

I would also know if there is any account number or any kind of identifying number connected to my account? I’ve seen that Bulb supposedly don’t use account numbers but I’ve been advised that an account number is needed to refer me to the Home Heating Advice Fund.

Thanks,

Shannon

As a broad brush, if your night usage is at least ~30%† of the total, you’re better off with E7.

Your most recent statement shows how much you used during the day and during the night for the period of the statement (which lets you calculate whether you hit that target), and has the day and night rates you’re being charged. It also has roughly how much electricity per year you’re using (estimated, but if you have regular [no worse than quarterly] readings on your account, it should be reasonable).

You can get the standard single rate tariff you would be charged by visiting the Tariff page on the Bulb website (bulb . co . uk / tariff), and filling out your postcode (and say no to E7 meter!).

† the formula for calculating the exact proportion is: (E7 day rate - single rate) ÷ (E7 day rate - E7 night rate) [×100 to make it a percentage]

Hi @stevefoster , thanks for your help (again!)

I’m on a prepayment meter so I don’t receive any statements and the little information I can see in my account doesn’t look very helpful. Looking at it, there are three different estimated readings per month and I’m not sure why there would be three different readings if I only have two different rates?

I know I could also check my usage by taking meter readings but so far my schedule hasn’t allowed and I would like to see my usage over a whole year to be absolutely sure if I’m better off on E7 or a single rate tariff.

I’ve checked the tariff rates as you mentioned but would like extra clarification from Bulb on all of my points here - if anyone from Bulb actually replies!

Day, Night, Total, perhaps?

How do you know when to top-up your meter? If it were me, I’d be taking readings each time I did that, as well as recording the date and top-up amount (noting that I read all my [credit] meters on a monthly basis for myself, and track consumption in a spreadsheet [that goes back to 2012]).

Not having had to use a prepayment meter myself, I’m unclear on specifics of their operation (though I understand the basic principles), but as your meters are essentially self-contained, it’s not obvious that Bulb necessarily have the consumption information you’re seeking. They clearly have a rough idea, based on how much money you shove in their direction, but that might be the full extent of their information, and why your account shows estimated values.

Also be aware that Bulb normally charge £120 to switch from an E7 to a single-rate meter.

Hey @shannonh Thanks for your post and thank you @stevefoster for your responses.

@shannonh we would just like to apologise for the delay with your questions, we have seen an increased amount of inflow recently but we are sorry for not being as quick with the response.

In relation to your question about your tariff

You currently have related prepayment meters, ‘Related meters’ could mean you have 2 separate electricity meters or one meter with 2 supply points. A supply point is how suppliers provide and charge for electricity. A typical meter has just one.

Your tariff details

Day rate 23.47p per kWh
Night rate 12.58p per kWh

and

Unit rate 20.04p per kWh

I will email you over your consumption figures directly so you can see what you have used.

Best,
Carl

Thanks @Carl_at_Bulb and @stevefoster

I will wait for you to send over my consumption figures @Carl_at_Bulb

@stevefoster Prepayment meters show the balance in £ on the default display, so you know to top up when the balance is getting low. I keep all of my top-up receipts but I don’t take regular meter readings as I’m not aware of any benefit of doing this while on a prepayment meter.

@Carl_at_Bulb I’ve been told before that I have related meters. I only have one meter so it must have 2 supply points but I don’t really understand what this is for? Is it to do with the fact that I have 2 rates and does it affect the possibility of switching me to a single rate tariff?

I’ve also realised that my estimated meter readings in my Bulb account went very wrong after I submitted a manual reading a number of months ago. On my meter I have displays for Rate 1, Rate 2 and Rate 3. Rate 3 hasn’t changed since I moved to my address so I guess it isn’t in use, however after I submitted a single manual reading Bulb seem to have taken this to be a Rate 3 reading and now this estimated reading keeps increasing in my account even though this rate is not in use. Could this be affecting how much I’m being charged or does it have no impact as I’m on a prepayment meter?

Well, one benefit is that you’d have the figures you need to work out whether E7 is right for you.

They’re also useful for tracking whether or not your consumption is steady, or if it starts to rise or fall. Which helps you compare from year to year so that you have an idea of what your future consumption at any time is likely to be, and from that, how much to budget for your fuel needs. It also lets you work out the consequences of tariff changes (such as the big price rises coming in April).

Hi Carl, talking about usage details in general: is there availability from Bulb of an annual spread sheet showing monthly energy usage? This would be really useful to show year on year consumption of gas and electricity.
Regards,
Alistair

Hi @MrAVASS - welcome to community :wave:

We are able to download all your readings in a CSV file, or we can send you your annual statements over the years - let me know if either of these would be a help?

All the best,
Megan

Hi Megan, thanks for your prompt response!

Please send me my readings in a CSV file.

All the best…Alistair

Hi @MrAVASS :wave:

I’m afraid I can’t find an account with your email address, so I’ve just sent you an email now.

Once I’ve found your account I’ll be able to email that over.

– Meg :bulb: