Empty homes: getting accurate statements and reducing your costs

If you have a home or property that’s sitting empty for a while, it might still be using energy. Some appliances might be plugged in and running in the background, or left on standby.

And even if nothing is plugged in, you’ll still pay the daily standing charge for keeping your gas and electricity supplies connected to the network.

To help keep your statements accurate, there are some things you can do to make sure we know much energy your property is using while it’s empty. We’ve also got some tips on reducing your energy costs.

And if your home is going to be empty for 4 months or longer, get in touch to let us know. 

Keeping your statements accurate

Send us meter readings when you can

We recommend sending us meter readings at least every 3 months, to make sure your statements stay accurate. When we don’t get readings, we need to use estimates. And if we haven’t had a reading in a while, these estimates can become less accurate. This means we might end up charging you for more or less energy than you’ve actually used.

We know it's not always easy to send us meter readings when you're not at home. So if it's not possible to send them every 3 months, try to send them as often as you can.

If you haven’t sent a reading in a while, when you do send one we’ll adjust your Bulb account balance to reflect your usage. So you’ll only pay for the energy you’ve actually used.


Get a smart meter to send automatic meter readings

Because smart meters send automatic meter readings, you won’t have to send us manual readings anymore. 

So if you have a property that’s likely to be empty for a long time, getting a smart meter means we'll be able to tell how much energy is being used there. Your statements will stay accurate, and we’ll only charge you for the actual usage at the property.

To find out more, read our guide to smart meters and how to book an installation.

Reducing energy costs while your home is empty

Even if your home or property is empty, there are usually some things that'll keep using energy.

To help keep costs down, you might want to:

  • turn appliances and gadgets off at the plug - TVs and microwaves on standby still use electricity
  • turn off the fridge if it won’t be used for a while - don’t forgot to defrost the freezer 
  • set your heating timer to a minimum

We’ve got more energy saving advice, including how to save money on your heating, and ideas for quick wins around the home to help you use less energy. 

Let us know if you move out

If you decide to sell your property, or if your rental term ends, you can tell us you’re moving out in your Bulb account.

We'll ask when you’re moving out, and for final meter readings within 5 days of your moving out date, so we can prepare your final bill.

Find out more about what to do when you’re moving out, including how to take Bulb to your new property.

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