Bulb Energy: the UK’s Green Startup Supplier
Bulb Energy is a startup based in London and aims to provide green energy without the premiums. A full 100% of its electricity and 10% of its gas come from independent green energy generators in the UK. The company has grown dramatically in recent years and currently supplies over 850,000 homes in the UK. If you’re looking for an ethical company that values customer service, transparent tariffs and which is concerned about the environment, then Bulb Energy might be a decent choice.
About Bulb Energy
Bulb Energy is a young company but it has grown quickly in a short amount of time. Read on to find out the brief but dynamic history, as well as what the company is up to right now.
Bulb Energy has achieved some impressive numbers in just a few years. It was founded in 2015 by Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood. Both of them had worked in what they refer to as ‘the old energy industry’ and believed they could create a better model for an energy company. With that in mind they founded Bulb Energy.
Initially, Bulb was founded by its two founders’ personal savings as well as funds they were able to gather from their personal contacts. Shortly after they were able to secure financial backing from JamJar Investments. Then, in 2018 Bulb secured funding from DST Global and Magnetar Capital, two large international financial companies.
Since 2017, Bulb has enjoyed large growth in a short amount of time. In just over two years their number of customers has expanded from an estimated 15,000 households to more than one million in March of 2019! That growth has led to commentators naming Bulb Energy as both the fastest growing energy supplier and the fastest growing private company bar none in the UK according to Forbes.
2. Bulb today
Today Bulb is known among UK energy suppliers as the new guy to watch out for. They’ve grown tremendously in the last year and now claim to serve more than 1% of UK households. That’s a towering feat in such a short amount of time, since several other companies such as Cooperative Energy have been stuck at that market share for many years in a row.
Of course other energy companies are less than thrilled with Bulb’s success, especially the Big Six, who have suffered large numbers of customer losses to challenger companies. Companies like SSE have claimed that Bulb’s prices are too low to be sustainable and that they’ll inevitably rise after Bulb has built up its customer base.
Last year it seemed like critics may have been correct, as Bulb increased the price of its singular tariff, Vari-Fair, three times in just one year. However, as the wholesale costs of energy have lowered in 2019, Bulb has once again lowered its tariffs. It was the first energy company to lower their tariff rates after the wholesale costs fell across the market.
Bulb Energy in the news
Bulb has been seen on several industry headlines in the last few weeks. That’s because they’ve announced an international expansion, saying they’ll be moving into France, Spain and Texas (USA). This is a big step forward for the fledgling firm as they prepare to make the jump to international energy company.
3. Bulb Energy financial info
As of now, Bulb is not a publicly traded company. The company is owned by private investors and employees, who are each given stock in the company. Because the company is not publicly traded, they are not required to release share price information.
As the company grows, there has been some talk of an IPO sale on Bulb’s forums but as of now that talk hasn’t yet shifted into action.
4. Bulb renewable energy/fuel mix
One of Bulb’s biggest selling points is that their electricity is produced from 100% renewable fuel sources. Their electricity fuel mix is an impressive 100% renewables, which should be welcome news for anyone living on planet Earth.
As renewable energy wholesale costs have lowered to levels comparable to those of fossil fuels, more and more energy companies are producing more of their electricity using renewable fuel sources. Still, companies like Bulb with 100% renewable electricity are ahead of the curve.
You should be aware however, that because of the way electricity is transferred throughout the national grid it is actually impossible to know where the electricity your household is using has come from.
So how does Bulb claim that it’s electricity comes from 100% renewables? They guarantee that for every unit of electricity a Bulb customer uses, they’ll purchase one unit of renewable electricity that is entered into the national grid. The process is guaranteed by Bulb’s REGO (Renewable Energies Guaranties Origin) certificate, which is issued by Ofgem.
As Bulb Energy uses 100% renewable electricity, we’re happy to give the energy supplier a full 5/5 stars for our fuel mix category.
Bulb Energy: fuel mix - ★★★★★
While Bulb’s electricity is 100% renewable, its gas is sadly not. This is a problem across the UK energy industry as virtually no energy supplier is able to supply gas from 100% renewables. 10% of Bulb’s gas does come from ‘green gas’, making the company the biggest supplier of green gas in the UK.
They are also committed to 100% carbon offset of the non-green gas they produce. Although not 100% green, their 10% green gas and carbon offset efforts puts Bulb Energy ahead of most energy suppliers in the UK when it comes to drawing from a renewable gas supply.
5. Bulb Energy services and offerings
Apart from 100% renewable electricity and some of the greenest gas in the UK market, what does Bulb have to offer its customers? Below you’ll find some of the perks that Bulb Energy is using to lure customers to make the switch.
Not sure what a smart meter is? It’s an energy meter that measures your electricity or gas use in near real time and displays that information on a monitor screen. Most smart phones can also connect to your mobile, letting you track and even control your energy use from anywhere. Smart meters also mean that you won’t need to submit meter readings every month in order to get accurate billing.
Still not sure what all the fuss is about? If you can track your energy use then you’ll be able to find opportunities to cut back on your energy use, helping you to save money month after month.
Bulb Energy does offer smart meter installation to its customers. A bit late to the party, Bulb began installing smart meters in February 2019. Bulb has stated that this delay was due to the company not wanting to install smart meters before its second generation smart meter (SMETS2) was developed.
This is important as first generation meters are often incompatible with other suppliers, but second generation meters are interchangeable. Thus, with a second generation smart meter you can switch energy suppliers without any hiccups from your meter.
Request a smart meter from Bulb
Bulb makes it clear on their website that they’re not yet ready to install smart meters across the entire country, stating that they’re focused on installations in areas with strong networks and experienced engineers. This means if you’re a Bulb customer, you may have to be patient as you wait for your smart meter.
If you would like to put yourself on the waiting list to receive a Bulb Energy smart meter you can do so via the link below.Request a smart meter
6. Bulb Energy cashback and referral scheme
One of Bulb’s most enticing lures for new customers is their new customer referral programme.
As a new energy supplier, Bulb Energy is dependent on word of mouth in order to expand their business. That’s why they offer a bonus to current customers who successfully refer friends or family to the energy company.
If you’re a customer with Bulb Energy and know someone who’s interested, you can log in to your Bulb account and receive a special referral link. Give the link to your interested contact and if they successfully make the switch you’ll each receive £50!
This aggressive referral scheme, along with competitive prices, largely explains the mystery of Bulb’s massive growth in customers over a fairly short amount of time.
Bulb Energy prices and tariff options
One of the most important factors in choosing an energy supplier are their prices. As most households have unfortunately experienced, a high unit rate or high standing charges can add up to a devastatingly high bill at the end of the month.
So how does Bulb Energy do when it comes to its prices? Read on below to get all the details.
1. Only one tariff option
Unlike maybe of its competitors, Bulb’s energy tariff options are mercifully simple with only one tariff option! It’s Vari-Fair option is a variable tariff, but unlike the variable tariffs of some larger energy suppliers its rates are still quite competitive.
Technically, we suppose there are two options, because Bulb Energy does have different rates for its customers with a prepaid meter. So depending on your meter type you can sign up for either the Vari-Fair or Vari-Fair Prepayment tariff.
Variable vs fixed price tariffs
Confused by the jargon? Across UK energy suppliers there are two types of tariffs, fixed price and variable. Fixed price tariffs have a set unit rate and standing charge for the length of your contract. You should be aware that the amount you’ll pay per billing period will still vary based on how much electricity and gas you use, but the price per kilowatt hour won’t change while your contract is valid.
Variable tariffs, like Bulb Energy’s Vari-Fair tariff, are different. The unit price of a variable tariff changes over time depending on different factors in the UK energy market (most importantly wholesale costs). Prepayment tariffs that require you to top-up your meter are virtually always variable.
2. Bulb prices compared to the market
How does Bulb compare to other suppliers? The energy market in the UK is quite complicated, but we can use Ofgem’s price cap as a benchmark to compare tariff prices. As most households are supplied by expensive Big Six firms who have their prices set to the price cap, this is the price that many customers are paying.
Bulb’s prices are certainly lower than the price cap, and the average 3 bedroom flat in London paying the legal maximum could save about £260 (based on average electricity and gas use) by switching to Bulb. That’s a decent amount of savings, although not the absolute best buy available on the market. That’s why Bulb Energy received a solid 3/5 stars for its prices.
Bulb Energy: prices - ★★★
If you want to get more info on how we calculate our price score and see Bulb’s tariffs in detail, visit our price page by clicking the button below.Bulb Energy prices
Getting in touch with Bulb
If you’re looking to take advantage of Bulb’s great customer service, you’ll need to get in touch with the energy supplier. We’ve listed some of their contact information below.
1. Before you make the switch
Bulb Energy certainly has its strengths, but if you’re considering switching to the energy supplier we recommend first speaking to one of our energy experts. They’re trained to sort through the huge number of energy suppliers and tariffs to be sure you get the best deal possible for your home.
2. Contact Bulb Energy - current customers
Bulb has a variety of different channels depending on the nature of your inquiry, some of which you can find by reading onward. For all the Bulb Energy contact info you could possibly need you should visit our full Bulb contact page by clicking the link below.Bulb Energy contact
Bulb smartphone app
Bulb has created an app which is simple to use and which makes your day-to-day tasks - such as checking your balance, downloading statements and referring your friends - as easy as one click.You can also conveniently and easily enter your meter reading with a photo, meaning that it takes less time and is easier than ever before.
You can download the app for iPhone and Android phones via the links below.
Like with any energy supplier, you can - and at times must - submit a meter reading to Bulb Energy. You can do so by getting in touch with the energy supplier via the following methods:
- Using the Bulb Energy App.
- Log in to your Bulb Account online.
If you still have doubts on the process, you can check out our comprehensive meter reading guide.
Moving house with Bulb
If you’re moving out of a Bulb supplied home, be sure to let the supplier know. Log in to your Bulb account and click ‘Move out’. They’ll ask you to provide your moving date and final meter readings. This is crucial as it will help you avoid being billed for someone else’s energy use.
If you want Bulb to supply your new home, just go to their sign-up page to start a new contract with the energy provider. You’ll need a few details to-hand, like your new post code and full address. Bulb even offers to pay for any exit fees from your current energy company!
Bulb Energy login
One of the most popular features of Bulb Energy is the ease with which you can manage your account online. Once you are logged into your account, you will be able to do the following:
- Track your usage.
- See past usage details.
- Submit meter readings.
- Check your balance.
To get even more information on how to log in and use your Bulb Energy account, you can visit our login page, by clicking the link below.Bulb Energy Login
Bulb Energy reviews and verdict
Before we reveal Selectra’s ultimate judgement on Bulb Energy, let’s take a moment to examine what their customers have to say about the energy supplier’s customer service.
1. Reviews of Bulb Energy
Generally speaking, Bulb customers are singing the brand’s praises. The provider consistently receives glowing feedback for some of the most crucial aspects of a company’s success including ease of use, friendly customer service and high value for money.
Great service, helpful team, keeps you informed about your account and any changes on a regular basis, good prices - Anna with Bulb Energy
However, like most companies, things aren’t quite perfect for the energy provider. As the company has grown dramatically their average waiting time to respond to customers has also increased notably, and their referral scheme may be unreasonably influencing their positive reviews.
Bulb Energy: reviews - ★★★★
Overall, Bulb Energy scored a strong 4/5 stars in our reviews category. To find out all the details and how we arrived at our score, visit our Bulb Energy review page linked below.Bulb Energy reviews
2. Our verdict
So taking into account what our callers have reported to our energy experts, what’s the final word on Bulb Energy?
First, let’s review. Bulb’s prices are competitive, but not the best. Their fuel mix is a perfect 100% and their reviews are nearly as good. And with a referral scheme and the Warm Home Discount available, the supplier has plenty of added perks for customers.
Bulb Energy Selectra score - ★★★★
Overall, Bulb Energy enjoys a great 4/5 stars on our Selectra Score, meaning the energy supplier is one we can confidently recommend to potential customers.