So, I’m fed up with my energy provider (background, if interested, although that’s not even all, but time is too precious to rant right now). I really want to switch, and was considering Bulb, especially because they pay exit fees, and have no exit fees themselves, so I have little to lose. I believe some of you are with them.
What’s your experience? How do they compare price wise (they are around 10% dearer than my current supplier, which puts me off a bit, but I just can’t bear them any longer, and my sanity is worth more than a few bucks a month)? Any other thoughts?
Hi! I’m sorry to hear you’ve had poor experiences with your current provider.
So far I’ve really enjoyed Bulb; the customer service has been excellent, switching has been very easy, and they have a clean web interface and iOS app to upload meter readings to.
I also really like that you can change your payment date online, so as to better align with salaries and other direct debits.
Price-wise, I calculated Bulb to be cheaper than Ecotricity, my previous supplier, by looking at the tariffs and multiplying that by my usage. Although the standing charge for Bulb is slightly higher, the tariff was low enough for Bulb to come out cheaper overall.
I have found the pricing straightforward and amongst some of the cheapest suppliers.
The email customer service is slow. The telephone CS is good but with restricted hours. There appears to be something slowing up gas meter reads and changeover dates that is apparently beyond their control.
My gas and electricity were supplied by Ebico. It was arranged to change both to Bulb, meter readings supplied. Then Bulb told me that there would be a delay in switching the gas. So the start dates for gas and electricity are about 10 days apart.
They are keen for you to provide readings every month. I have done so but the gas reading didn’t register so the bill was based on an estimate. My reading did eventually show up. They blame this on a project called Neptune which is supposed to make estimations more accurate and therefore there is a quality control on supplied reads to make sure they make sense (I think).
Finally be aware that they will take your first payment on switching day.
Once your on Bulb, you can make a killing referring people to, I’ve only been with them about 4 months or so and I’ve made years of free energy by referring other people:
That along makes it worthwhile if you can spend some time referring others.
Also Customer support is ace to, as well as one of the cheapest suppliers out there. If you go onto their community forum, it’s a lot like this (though not as busy), but it has that warm fuzzy start up / community feel to.
How do they stand with not being able to provide meter readings? My landlord has my eletric meter locked away and I cant access it… its a smart meter with EON but as I cant access it I cant provide meter readings?
I’m not a Bulb customer (happy Bristol Energy customer not looking to switch… to everyone wanting to circle around me like a shark when they hear I’m not a Bulb customer), but their marketing/acquisition model irks me.
They need to ban people from referral spam, it’s everywhere, and people signing up just to spam their referral links. In a context, it can be appropriate, but they spam it everywhere. It has given them tons of good reviews (always with a referral link of course) and a huge customer base. But who’s paying? It feels like a pyramid scheme ready to collapse.
Referrals and switching bribes can be legitimate. But Bulb is doing nothing to prevent out of control spamming and to limit referral numbers to ensure people don’t end up with free service for life (which isn’t fair to those who come in later).
P.S. of course, I’m also one glad Monzo doesn’t have a switching bonus and is instead building a genuinely compelling product and using that VC money for the long term, and to help keep things like replacement cards and some foreign use free.
I’m in a similar situation - previous supplier (E.on) used a smart meter which is locked in a cupboard with all the building’s meters. I contacted the building management company who advised on the type of key for the lock - a readily bought ‘FB2’ key. I can now access the cupboard and give Bulb regular readings.
I’d 100% recommend Bulb: Their customer service is quick and helpful, and the referral credits really make a difference! On that note, if you’d like a link to use - bulb.co.uk/refer/frank7266 gets us both £50 credit.
Regarding the Bulb Android app, I’ve got access to the beta and it seems functional and polished - I’m sure it’s not far off general release.
I read their t&cs today (as I’m sure we all do, when we seriously consider signing up for something), and you actually aren’t allowed to spam. You aren’t allowed to give the code to strangers. Only friends, family and colleagues. And then only, and I’m paraphrasing, in an appropriate manner. But it doesn’t seem like anyone is enforcing this.
As you say, I doubt the sustainability. Especially given that they also pay your exit fee if you switch to them, pay two referrals, and have no minimum contract term or exit fees themselves. So there is nothing stopping me from switching to them just to get out of my current contract, and then switch to whomever I want to.
I’m currently having an issue, although I doubt it’s Bulbs fault. They are being really good about it though.
I joined just over a year ago, from British Gas with the free Saturday electric thing BG had. What I didn’t realise was this meant EVERY SINGLE SUPPLIER thought I had economy 7 because it appears as a dual rate meter.
This 2nd rate never increases. It’s just a permanent fixed number left over from BG that will never go up. So now I have to email Bulb meter readings every so often because the online system ‘estimates’ that the reading increases and won’t let me insert the same kw usage every month.
So far smart meters are worse than the old style meters.
Wouldn’t getting a smart meter fix this problem? EDIT - My apologies, I Googled this tariff. This is supplied on a smart meter, not a dual rate meter, I see now. I’d read ‘appears as a dual rate meter’ to mean it was a dual rate meter, sorry!
Surely the smart meter can just be reprogrammed. Oh, wait, we have to wait for SMETS2 for that… (unless both suppliers use the same equipment).
Still, I’d have expected British Gas to set this back to single-rate before you left. Regardless, their utter incompetence was so bad, nothing shocks me.
I have the same issue with Bristol Energy for my gas, because I only have a gas hob, I don’t always go through a full cubic metre every month. If I don’t, I need to email the readings. It doesn’t bother me, though. It takes no longer to put an email together, really. I am looking forward to getting a smart meter. I think they’re waiting for SMETS2 to roll them out in quantity, and I imagine Bulb also is.
I don’t mind emailing them in, at least i get a reply. BG was always a few weeks before you get a response.
For a while, the magical British Gas bill generator estimated my monthly bill at £11,000 (yes eleven thousand) even with a smart meter… I cancelled my DD with them for a few months while that was all going on.
I’m not really to sure who is to blame for the bad meter rollout. The silly Goverment ‘deadline’ to have them, the lack of a suitable standard for all companies to use and implement at the time, or the energy companies themselves, or maybe all of it.