Read on of you want the details as to why I think this but for those who just want to get to the point, I know it’s a long shot but would Bulb have been told whether there was any debt on my meter from my previous supplier?
I suspect my previous supplier might have been charging me for someone else’s debt. I’ve emailed Spark to enquire if there had previously been debt registered on the meter. I’m bracing myself to be fobbed off as there’s now no way for me to check since the meter has been reset when I switched to Bulb.
I’m a relatively new member to bulb. I switched earlier in the month and went on supply with Bulb on the 28th.
Previously I was briefly with Spark energy as they were the existing suppliers when I moved into my flat at the end of December, and they were utterly dreadful. First they set up a credit account and started sending me bills for an address that has a prepayment meter, then they couldn’t figure out which meter was mine and messed about and caused problems with with my neighbor’s meter instead which they weren’t even the suppliers for and was clearly registered to a different address… It was a long, dramatic 5 weeks.
Anyway, having been with Bulb for just 6 days, I’ve noticed a significant drop in my electricity consumption which I’m thinking can’t just be down to having switched to a better and cheaper supplier.
I previously knew nothing about how to read prepayment meters so I taught myself this week to check everything had switched properly to Bulb and the rates I was being charged were as advertised. But I never thought to check during the brief period I was with Spark (silly, I know) but having discussed it with a friend, this debt thing has just occured to me. I had no debt to pay them, but they might have been charging for someone else’s.
For context, it’s a 17 x 10 ft studio flat, which I personally consider to be pretty small. It’s ground floor and has semi decent insulation. It has a C EPC rating. Admittedly it does have a 90" wide window which is single paned and highly inefficient (landlord is thankfully replacing it imminently for double glazing). There is a single electric radiator on one wall which I keep on a timer during the week (one hour in the morning, 3 hours in the evening). I would manually put it on for a bit longer if I’m home on a weekend. All the lights are 6w LEDs which are kept off when not in use. The internal doors to the kitchen and bathroom are always kept closed too. There wasn’t a huge amount of cooking and laundry being done at the time. Maybe once every couple of days during the evenings. But I do have the standard modern things like a WiFi router and fridge etc on all the time.
With all that in mind, it cost me about £100 to heat and supply the flat in the 5 weeks is was with Spark. I personally think this is astronomical for such a small property with one person living in it. When I would check the meter, I was getting through about £4-£5 per day. But at the time I didn’t know how to cycle through the various display screens to see if there was any debt being collected and at what rate.
I enquired directly with Spark what my rates were back when I was still with them and was told by email that they were 15.60p p/kWh (daytime), 9.14p p/kWh (night) and 32.04p daily standing charge. Compared to the current rates with Bulb of 15.07 (daytime) 7.27 (night) and 28.97 standing charge (yay for Bulb!).
I realise that it’s the coldest time of year and all, but it’s been even colder this week than it was over Christmas and early Jan and I’ve still only used less than £16 in the 6 days since I’ve been with Bulb. Even with the sub zero temperatures in UK right now. The same period with my previous supplier would have cost me at least £25 I’m sure. I’ve checked my meter to check that the clock and rates are correct and they are. There’s definitely no debt being collected by Bulb and I haven’t significantly changed my usage habits.
Based on the above info, is it possible for Bulb’s better rates to have made such a huge difference? Or is it possible that I’ve been had over by my last supplier? And if I get the brush off from Spark, is there any way I can get any recourse or is it too late?