We base your quote on the energy we think you'll use over the next 12 months
When you first join Bulb, we base your monthly quote on the amount of energy we think you’ll use over the next 12 months
To work out the monthly amount, we:
- estimate your total energy usage for the next 12 months
- work out the total cost of that usage, based on the current price of our tariff
- divide the cost by 12, so each monthly payment is the same
We estimate your total energy usage based on what we know about your property
Gas and electricity meter readings in the UK are shared with an independent regulator. When you sign up to join Bulb, the regulator will provide us with the following information about your property:
- the Estimated Annual Consumption of electricity (EAC)
- the Annual Quantity of gas used (AQ)
When you get a quote, if you’re able to provide us with more information about your usage at the property, we’ll include this information when we calculate your quote. For example, your own estimated usage based on bills from your current supplier.
After 3 months, we may suggest changing your payment amount
After you’ve been with us for at least 3 months, we may suggest changing your monthly payment amount. That’s because you may be using more or less energy than we estimated.
There are lots of reasons why you could be using more or less energy than we first estimated.
- you’ve made changes to your property, like adding an extension or improving the insulation
- you’ve bought new appliances or an electric car
- you were new to the property when you joined Bulb and the information we received from the regulator was based on the previous people who lived there
We’ll review your account regularly throughout the year
Knowing your payments are right helps to give you peace of mind. So you can always check your payments in the payment settings section of your Bulb account.
If your account balance is negative (or ‘in debit’) we may send you an email to ask you to top up your balance, or adjust your payments. We do this regularly to help you keep your balance on track and avoid a big increase to your payments later on in the year (or if you choose to leave Bulb).
We may also ask you to change your payments if you’re on our variable, Vari-Fair tariff, and your prices have changed. We’ll always give you 30 days’ notice of any price increases or decreases.
Your account should build up credit over the summer
To make them easier to manage, we aim to keep the payments you make into your Bulb account the same each month.
Most people typically use more energy in the winter. So during the summer, your account should build up enough credit to pay for your usage over the colder months.
You may see us talking about getting your balance to ‘the right amount of credit for this time of year’. It’s to help stop your account from building up a negative balance (or ‘debit’) in the colder months, which you will need to pay back.
We may ask you to increase your payments even if your account balance is in credit
Sometimes, we’ll ask you to top up your account or increase your payments even if you have credit in your account. This can seem a bit strange. We’ll only do this if your current payments aren’t enough to cover your usage, or if your account is at risk of going into a negative balance (debit) later in the year.
You pay for your energy in advance
Your latest payment is always set aside for next month’s energy usage. When we review your account to check it’s on track, we’ll use the numbers on your latest statement, not the numbers in your Bulb account.
Meter readings help keep your payments accurate
If you don’t have a smart meter, you can help make sure you’re paying the right amount by entering regular meter readings into your account.
- how to submit a meter reading
- how to read your meter
- if you’re eligible for a smart meter, which will send automatic meter readings
We can help if you’re struggling to pay
There are different ways we can help if you’re struggling with your energy payments. The fastest way to get help is to let us know. Find out about the different help we offer.