Founded in 2015, Bulb Energy is one of the new kids on the block within the UK energy supplier market. Their promise? To provide 100% renewably sourced electricity for all. With a keen interest in doing what I can for environment, this was a no-brainer for me, so a back in August of last year I initiated their ‘2 minute’ switch process. Here’s how the experience has been 6 months (spoilers, it’s great!).
Their claim of a ‘2 minute’ switch process is no lie. You start by getting a quote which simply involves navigating their minimal and clean interface, providing basic information on your property. If you’re happy with their estimate, starting the switch is as easy as providing your address, email and bank details. That’s it. Later on you provide your meter readings, and Bulb take it from there.
You don’t need to contact your old supplier either. Bulb make them aware of your switch, and inform them of your final meter readings with them. Your old supplier will settle their final bill and close your account without you having to do a thing.
Once the switch as started, it takes a few weeks for the whole process to complete, but nothing is required from your side. Bulb keep you in loop via email along the way.
Bulb claim to be 15% cheaper than the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers (NPower, EDF, British Gas, SSE, EON and ScottishPower). They are ranked up amongst the cheapest suppliers in the country. Impressive. Over the 6 month period I’ve been with them so far, I can say they are no more expensive than our last provider, NPower. Having not run the numbers by comparing NPower’s tariff changes vs Bulb over that time, I can’t say for certain, but my guess is that their 15% cheaper claim is reasonably accurate.
On the topic of value, no longer than 3 weeks after signing up with Bulb, I received an email stating prices will be increasing in two months time. An increase of roughly £6 per month. While this was of course frustrating news at the time, the transparency of the email immediately sat well with me. Transparency is one of the most important things to me when it comes to customer/business relations, and Bulb have so far always provided plenty of time to consider your options and provided the facts on why the price change is occurring, assuring their customers that they would drop their prices if and when possible.
Since that price rise in November, the have since lowered their prices twice. You can’t ask for fairer than that!
Here’s an extract from their original price increase email:
In August, we said we might need to increase our prices and, sadly, we do.
This means your energy will cost £6.02 more each month as wholesale energy costs have risen by 18% since June.
Wholesale energy prices have continued rising because UK gas stores are still not full in time for winter. Despite this, Bulb will still be £196 cheaper per year than the Big Six’s standard tariffs for an average home.
Bulb have one tariff for all customers. That’s it. It’s variable, and will change depending on the wholesale price of energy. Here’s an extract from the afore-mentioned email:
You’re always on our best deal We don’t have any fixed tariffs. Just our best rate, for everyone. And it’s still £111 cheaper per year than the new price cap for an average home.
Compare that to EDF and NPower who both have over 100 active tariffs, you can immediately appreciate the simple and fresh approach to energy. It cuts down the resource intensive tracking of all these tariffs for Bulb, and keeps things transparent and simple for customers.
Bulb is currently running a referral scheme. Refer a friend to Bulb, and each of you receive £50 credit towards your bill. I’ve so far made use of this by referring one person and being referred in the first place. The process couldn’t be simpler. In fact, when I signed up to Bulb, I knew a friend already with them, but I forgot to use their referral. No matter, after chatting with their support team over instant messaging, Bulb were happy to apply my referral after-the-fact. As my only experience with Bulb support so far, I can say it was extremely positive.
If you’re interested in joining Bulb, and wouldn’t mind using my referral, you can find it at the bottom of this post. Thanks in advance!
So how have things been since the switch? In short - just fine. It’s been minimal fuss, which is all you want from your energy supplier.
Bulb have a very clean and easy to use mobile app for Android and iOS which includes details on your bill, allows you to submit meter readings and track referrals. Alongside the app is a similarly well designed and easy to use web interface.
They email you with account updates as you need them along with newsletters to keep you in the loop. All in all, everything so far has just worked.
While Bulb does claim to be potentially cheaper than rival suppliers, the main draw for many, including myself, will be the promise of cleanly sourced energy. But how does that work in practice?
The National Grid works by receiving electricity generated from each individual facility, and distributes to it to homes, offices and other facilities across the country. These generation facilities can source their energy from any means, be it coal, gas, nuclear, or (ideally!) renewable. Once the energy has been delivered to the National Grid, the system is agnostic as to where that energy came from. Ie, you, nor your supplier have any control in where the energy that reaches your house comes from.
So what does your energy supplier do? It decides which energy generation facilities it wants to use as a supplier, and pays them for the energy used in your home. Bulb’s promise is that they will only buy from generators who source their energy from renewable means. Bulb buys most of it’s energy direct from independent suppliers, and tops off any extra required energy from the wholesale market.
Bulb Energy is available for households and businesses across the UK. If you’re interested in joining, please consider using my referral link below!Written on April 27th, 2019 by Josh Unwin