Wholesale costs are changing

Hi @phil60 :wave:

Sorry to hear you’re thinking of switching. We’ve changed our tariffs to reflect the true cost of energy which has risen but a lot lately (post lockdown demand being a big cause of this- but I’m sure Martin Lewis covered this!)

We try and keep our tariff as low as we can but we do need to adjust it if wholesale changes. If the market drops again we would pass these savings on to our members! We wrote more about it on our blog if you’d like to take a look, but we hope to see you stick around with us!

If you have any further questions let me know :blush:

– H :bulb:

Higher network and policy costs => higher standing charge (i.e. “A standing charge covers the costs your energy supplier incurs to get gas and electricity to you”)
Higher electricity wholesale costs => higher electricity rate

Now explain why in March 2020 and now you increased both the rate and standing charge, when in either cases only one of them went up.

If prices go up again before end of year that maybe a price one price rise too much for me this year.
I understand prices go up but if they go up again before Christmas that will mean three price rises in a year and that’s a little too much I’m afraid.

Darren

a good point about standing charge in summer

Are you sure Bulb is worth it anymore? MoneySavingExpert seemingly disagrees, with it reaching normalized big six levels.

Same price

Sadly this is not the same company I signed up for two years ago. Three price hikes in the span of less than one year. Your honesty is appreciated but your prices are not. It was not too long ago when you questioned these companies:

Disappointing for sure.

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Bulb’s owner is Simple Energy Limited. Checking their companie’s accounts on companies house website, there are couple of interesting things you can take away

First, you can see that Bulb concentrated on Customer Aquisition and Marketing - they’ve spent a staggering 62 million pounds on that alone.
According to director’s statement, that’s part of the plan to grow the company, and that the current year loss of 63 million is expected. Last year’s losses were 129 million

Now, the 2nd part gets interesting (page 19 on the statement). I will quote it in here, with bold section highligthed by me:

The Directors considered it appropriate to assess the future cash flows in two circumstances - skipping some text gere here
The different scenarios focused on changes to customer payment rates and available cost savings.

Now, how I undestand that is, Bulb’s plan was to introduce low rates, and spend A LOT of money on marketing, with expectation that they will lose money, and then, once customer base is large enough, just keep raising the rates until they’re profitable. Assumption here being that a lot of people probably will not be bothered to change their supplier

I know that there is no direct correlation between wholesale energy prices and oil prices BUT the two must be linked over time. When we joined Bulb in Sept 2018 the Brent spot price was $76.83 per barrel and your unit elec price was 13.3p. Brent was $68.28 (-11%) at the date of my last bill and your unit price 18.16p (+36%). You seem to use the standing charge to ‘smooth out’ some price changes: it fell from 23.29p to 18.13p over the period. Why was the collapse in oil prices (to below $25 at one point) not reflected in your unit price? Assuming that you were not profiteering then you must have failed to buy energy at the lower prices. Why?

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Please explain standing charge increase

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I haven’t verified what you’re saying is true, but it wouldn’t surprise me if that was what their plan was all along. Thankfully I’ve left them now. Hopefully others will realise and do the same.

Green energy at the price of capitalism.

I have been very happy with Bulb for the last few years, but a pending fourth price increase in the past 14 months has seen my annual electricity costs rise by over £300. Therefore I have reluctantly decided to switch to a fixed two year plan. Currently that will be saving me £30 per year, but after the new price increases in June my annual saving will be closer to £140. My thoughts are that the way things are going there will be further price increases in the near future and switching to a two year fixed plan I can avoid paying any more for my electricity during that period. My advice to others would be to consider doing the same, as energy prices are not set to go down any time soon and you could miss the chance of grabbing some of the fixed two year plans that are currently on offer.

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Green Giant, I agree 100% with your comments. I did exactly the same last week. Sorry Bulb but as I said to them 1 increase too many

Spot on. You can see the pattern once their customer was beginning to get large enough to then be like the Big 6 and use lethargy

Yes, the customer base has been fairly static over the last few months.
Guess after 5 years time to turn the red column into a black one

Having been with Bulb for several years at my previous address, I moved in March and have recently completed a switch back to Bulb (from the previous occupiers choice Symbio).
As the Bulb rates are now going up again I have just instigated a switch to EDF… Yes EDF. Because we are all electric with a thermostore electric boiler and 80% of my electricity usage is Economy 7 the night rate at 8.68p (inc vat) makes a massive difference to my overall bill even though the day rate is just over one pence more.
Sorry Bulb but I am gone.

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Looks like many, including myself, have decided or are in the process of switching.
I suggest that if Bulb wishes to retain their customer share, they should find a way to absorb price hikes and profit margin and make itself competitive against other suppliers.
Any PR stunt including “we’ve described this in our blog”, “we have a high ranking on TrustPilot/our mobile app”, “we offer variable rates” and “we offer a no-contract, no-exit fees policy, so you can switch anytime” is simply not cutting it anymore.

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Yes I am in exactly the same position as you. I am all electric with night storage heaters. Therefore around 80% of my energy is through the economy 7 tariff. Although the summer months will be slightly higher than Bulbs daytime tariff the big savings will come during the winter months. I have also switched to EDF on a fixed 2 year tariff and as a sweetener EDF have also credited my account with £50. With Bulb I have found my energy costs rise in the past three years, they certainly have not gone down and I think they will continue to rise in the near future. At least with EDF I won’t be getting quarterly emails saying that there energy prices are increasing as with Bulb. Hopefully in two years time there will be a suitable tariff to switch to. Although in the current climate I am not holding my breath. I have been reading an article where it says Ofgem have raised the cap to allow energy companies to increase there prices to cover the costs of customers who have been unable to pay there bills during the pandemic. It mentioned nothing about the increase in wholesale energy prices. If this is true then it looks like the paying customers are being asked to pay for those who cannot!

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I’m going to see if Bulb put there prices up again before the end of the year. For if they do that will be one price rise too many for me and will be looking elsewhere for my electric, For 3 price rises in one year will be too much,
Bulb say if wholesale prices drop they will pass on the saving to customers.
I been with Bulb about 16 months now and electric has not come down in price.
Yet my gas with Scottish Gas(British Gas) dropped in price for a few months before going up in price again.
I have a prepay gas meter with them.

Darren