What is the Tariff we are actually paying for Vari-fair gas?

My web account tariff information and bill seem to indicate i’m paying 3.72p/kW. However log in as a ‘new’ customer and the tariff is showing 3.717p/kW. The latter is used by comparison sites.
I’m being billed for 3.72p and not 3.717p, so why the difference here?

My web account tariff information and bill seem to indicate i'm paying 3.72p/kW. However log in as a 'new' customer and the tariff is showing 3.717p/kW. The latter is used by comparison sites. I'm being billed for 3.72p and not 3.717p, so why the difference here?

One is rounded to two decimal places.

Internally, Bulb use the more precise value, but in many places list only the 2dp value.

I agree, and others have also commented, it would be better if Bulb always published the value to the full precision they actually use. It would certainly help those of us who maintain our own log of prices and calculations.

My web account tariff information and bill seem to indicate i'm paying 3.72p/kW. However log in as a 'new' customer and the tariff is showing 3.717p/kW. The latter is used by comparison sites. I'm being billed for 3.72p and not 3.717p, so why the difference here?

It’s a Bulb idiosyncrasy where they show rates to different number of decimal places depending on where you look on their site. This situation has been brought up on previous discussions and for those of us who retain their own spreadsheets of energy use and costs it means we have to carry out a manual amendments to align with Bulb’s calculations.

One is rounded to two decimal places.

Internally, Bulb use the more precise value, but in many places list only the 2dp value.

I agree, and others have also commented, it would be better if Bulb always published the value to the full precision they actually use. It would certainly help those of us who maintain our own log of prices and calculations.

Right I’ve had this problem for a couple of months now, and like the OP I still can’t figure it out despite knowing the issues with the precision Bulb presents values. I’m going to ask here rather than contacting Bulb because this surely would be information that helps others.

My gas bill this month is from 1070 to 1254, and Bulb say this is 183 meter units. I make it 184 meter units. I initially thought this was an off-by-one error due to the bill being upto the last reading, and so the start reading is actually 1071. But my bill last month didn’t have this off-by-one error. What’s going on? It can’t be a rounding problem because meter readings are always rounded down by ignoring any values after the decimal place.

It gets even more confusing when you try to do the kWh conversion. Bulb calculate 2047 kWh, but using the conversion constants listed on the statement …

183 * 1.02264 * 39.3 / 3.6 = 2043 kWh
184 * 1.02264 * 39.3 / 3.6 = 2054 kWh

Can anyone update my bistromathics? Is the calorific value really 39.377? Surely Bulb would display this as 39.4. The values seem slightly too far out to be simply rounding errors.

@Hooloovoo

I’ve had to do a manual calculation on my spreadsheet again this month due to problem with Bulb not showing an appropriate number of decimal places in their tariff unit rates. I am not talking about a large amount of money in my case my automatic spreadsheet total calculation was out by 10 pence compared to Bulb’s calculation even though I used the same tariff information as shown on my statement.

It would be better all around if Bulb quoted their tariff to a larger number of decimal places .

This issue is my sole bone of contention with Bulb.
They say it “keeps things simple” when it does nothing of the sort. :s
I’d like to see unit costs consistently expressed to however many decimal places are actually used in preparing statements, and ex-VAT - simples!

Yes… Ditto to the comments above. It is so frustrating that you can’t check the accuracy of your bills simply because Bulb don’t tell you the exact rates that they use in their calculations. Come on Bulb, please sort this out as a matter of urgency!
Apart from this you’re really good!

Add me to the list of moaners about this aspect of their calculations. I first contacted them about this some 18 months ago.

Hooloovoo…According to the national website CV is listed at 1 point after the decimal point.
http://mip-prod-web.azurewebsites.net/DataItemExplorer/Index

Er, one place, but we know what you meant. :wink:

Ah, you pointed me to the right place. :slight_smile:

Perhaps this requirement should be included in the Open Roadmap?

Perhaps this requirement should be included in the Open Roadmap?

Agreed. @“Eleanor at Bulb” can we have variables always shown to the precision used by Bulb in calculations?

I know we’re only talking 20p or whatever difference but it’s annoying when the calculations are not reproducible.

Hello all.

Thanks for bringing this up again - it’s now on the Open Road Map.

I’ll be updating the road map this week so I’ll get back to you shortly on the changes we’re making.

In trying to make things simple, we’ve obviously made things complicated for those of you who are diligently keep track of your energy usage. Sorry about that.

@198kHz the actual number of decimal places varies but it is often more than three.

So for example, your region’s current rates are (before the price drop in March):

Electricity: 13.6396p/kWh
Gas: 3.7271p/kWh
Standing charge: 0.204435p/kWh

You’re right, we should be consistent across the board. We’d be happy to consistently make it three decimal places.

For the majority of members, five decimal places might be a few too many. Perpahs we could find a place to show the current unit rates and standing charges for those of you who want the exact costs?

We'd be happy to consistently make it three decimal places.

I agree with @198kHz. I’d say you have a responsibility to show on the statements values to however many decimal places are actually used in preparing the statements. Rounding should happen only at the final stage. Anything less is obscuring the bill.

@“Eleanor at Bulb” could you help with my gas to kWh conversion? I’m struggling to get the same value the statement gives even before getting to any tariff costs.

For the majority of members, five decimal places might be a few too many. Perpahs we could find a place to show the current unit rates and standing charges for those of you who want the exact costs?
For those that dont monitor their Bills to closely it probably doesn't matter if it is 1 or 5 decimal places, for those that do accuracy is all important as it is good to have the exact same monthly Bill figure as Bulb.

I cant speak for others but even if just a couple of pence out you can spend an hour trying to make adjustments just to get it to balance.

I cant speak for others but even if just a couple of pence out you can spend an hour trying to make adjustments just to get it to balance.

I wouldn’t say I spend an hour making the adjustment, perhaps just a couple of minutes. Regardless of this it is still annoying not to be able to use the rates to the same number of decimal places as that used by Bulb.

@"Eleanor at Bulb" could you help with my gas to kWh conversion? I'm struggling to get the same value the statement gives even before getting to any tariff costs.

Yes!

Your meter readings between January 31st - March 2nd were as follows:

Jan 31st - 1070.3820
March 2nd - 1253.7630

1070.3820 - 1253.7630 = 183.381

So we rounded this down to 183.

Your previous bill was from January 2nd - January 31st

January 2nd - 1070.3820
Jan 31st - 836.4600

1070.3820 - 836.4600 = 233.922

So we rounded this up to 234.

I don’t immediately know the answer to the second part of your question but I can certainly find out for you. Let me check with those that are in the know and I’ll get back to you.

You’ll notice that the calorific value varies from statement to statement. That’s because calorific values vary daily and between regions. We are sent the calorific values each morning and work out the monthly average at the end of your billing cycle.

Thanks for bringing this up again - it's now on the Open Road Map.
Appreciated. :)
In trying to make things simple, we've obviously made things complicated for those of you who are diligently keep track of your energy usage. Sorry about that.
You're forgiven. ;)
@198kHz the actual number of decimal places varies but it is often more than three. So for example, your region's current rates are (before the price drop in March): Electricity: 13.6396p/kWh Gas: 3.7271p/kWh Standing charge: 0.204435p/kWh
Aaaagh!! - there you go again... :s Given a VAT inclusive price, one cannot determine the precise ex-VAT figure. eg for gas: 3·7271p before VAT is 3·549619048p, so how many places are you using to calculate the bill?
You're right, we should be consistent across the board. We'd be happy to consistently make it three decimal places.
If it's VAT exclusive, fine.
Perpahs we could find a place to show the current unit rates and standing charges for those of you who want the exact costs?
That would be welcome, for now, though in the longer term I think it should be in plain sight for everyone without having to hunt for it.
Your meter readings between January 31st - March 2nd were as follows:

Jan 31st - 1070.3820
March 2nd - 1253.7630

1070.3820 - 1253.7630 = 183.381

So we rounded this down to 183.

Thanks! That is:

  • The answer I expected mathematically
  • Not the answer I expected in terms of energy supply.

If I were submitting those readings manually, the expectation is to submit only the integer part. i.e., the meter readings would have been 1070 and 1253 with a default round down. So with the smart meter readings the rounding is different producing different results when displayed on the bill at 1070 and 1254. I presume this is intentional? If the full precision is known, why not show it on the bill and avoid rounding entirely?

I don't immediately know the answer to the second part of your question but I can certainly find out for you. Let me check with those that are in the know and I'll get back to you.

You’ll notice that the calorific value varies from statement to statement. That’s because calorific values vary daily and between regions. We are sent the calorific values each morning and work out the monthly average at the end of your billing cycle.

Thanks! :slight_smile: