Thinking of switching to Bulb Energy? The renewable energy supplier has quickly become one of the largest suppliers in the UK. Read on to discover if Bulb Energy is the best choice for your home’s energy needs.
|Domestic Market: England, Scotland & Wales||100% renewable electricity|
|Customers: 1.6 million||Competitive rates|
|Electricity sources: Renewables||Installs SMETS2 smart meters|
|Fuel mix score: ★★★★★||No fixed-rate offers|
|Selectra score: ★★★||Long call-wait times|
Who is Bulb Energy?
Bulb Energy Ltd. was founded by Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka in 2015. By 2018, the energy supplier was already one of the fastest-growing companies in the UK.
As one of over 70 energy companies competing with the traditional Big Six energy suppliers,
Bulb Energy has proven itself a force to be reckoned with. The supplier has grown dramatically over the past couple of years. In 2017, Bulb Energy supplied just 15,000 homes. As of October 2020, the renewable supplier has over 1.6 million customers.
Who owns Bulb Energy?
Bulb Energy Ltd. is a subsidiary of Simple Energy. Since Bulb Energy began trading in 2015, the directors have been its founders, Amit Gudka and Hayden Wood.
Rates & Prices
The rates with this tariff are variable, so they will fluctuate with the wholesale cost of energy. Since your rates are not guaranteed, this tariff does not charge an exit fee.
Although Bulb claims to provide just one tariff, pricing does vary depending on your meter type and location.
The average household in London with a credit meter would spend an estimated £76.94 per month on this plan. That’s around £65 cheaper than the price cap set by energy regulator Ofgem. The same house with a prepayment meter would spend an estimated £81.59 per month.
Fore more information on prices and offers, check out our dedicated Bulb Energy tariffs guide.
Does Bulb use smart meters?
Bulb Energy has begun installing second-generation smart meters (SMETS) across Great Britain. Are you considering getting a Bulb smart meter? Let's take a look at some of the benefits of having one installed:
- You no longer have to submit meter readings because the Bulb smart meter will submit them automatically.
- Say goodbye to estimated bills. With the automatic meter readings feature, Bulb Energy no longer needs to estimate your consumption.
- With the In-Home Display (IHD) that comes with the Bulb smart meter, as well as via the Bulb app, you can monitor your energy consumption and spend in near real-time.
Bulb smart meter installation
To prepare for the Bulb smart meter installation, clear the space around your meters to make sure the engineer has enough room to work. If your meters are in a locked area, be sure to have the keys on hand for the Bulb Energy smart meter installation.
On the day of the smart meter installation, someone over the age of 18 must be at the property for the entirety of the appointment. It should not take longer than two hours to complete the installation.
The day of the Bulb Energy smart meter installation will go as follows:
- The engineer will call you when he/she is on the way.
- When the engineer arrives, he/she will run some safety checks and turn off your power supply. The supply will be off for around 20 minutes per meter. If this will be an issue (perhaps for medical reasons), you should let Bulb Energy know before.
- The new Bulb smart meter(s) will be installed.
- The engineer will give you your new In-Home Display monitor. It may take up to 48 hours before it shows your information.
Bulb smart meter compatibility
If you switch to Bulb Energy with a first-generation smart meter (SMETS1), it will only work properly if it is a Secure smart meter. Utilita, Octopus Energy, First Utility, OVO, E.on and Bristol Energy have also installed Secure smart meters. If one of these providers installed your smart meter, it should be compatible with Bulb Energy.
If your SMETS1 meter was not made by Secure, you can still switch to Bulb Energy. However, your smart meter will lose its smart functionality and you will be required to submit your meter readings manually.
By the end of April 2021, this issue with smart meter interoperability should be fixed among all suppliers.
Bulb Energy login
One of the most popular Bulb Energy features is the online account platform. Once you are logged in to your Bulb Energy account, you will be able to do the following:
- Track your usage.
- See past usage details.
- Submit meter readings.
- Check your balance.
For more information about managing your account online, visit our Bulb Energy login guide.
Bulb Energy Warm Home Discount
Bulb Energy is part of the Warm Home Discount Scheme. Through this scheme, eligible customers can get £140 of their energy bills.
Customers who pay via direct debit will have the discount applied to the credit. Prepayment customers will need to go to the Post Office to pick up a voucher. It will contain instructions about how to apply the £140 discount to your meter.
Bulb Energy Warm Home Discount applications opened on Monday, 27th October 2020. Customers in the 'core group' don’t need to submit an application.
To be in the core group, both of the following must apply:
- You joined Bulb Energy prior to July 6, 2020.
- You receive a Guaranteed Credit element of Pension Credit
If you qualify for the core group, you should receive a letter confirming your eligibility by December 2020. Core group members will receive the Bulb Energy Warm Home Discount by 31st March 2021.
If you’re not eligible for the core group, you may still be able to apply for the Bulb Energy Warm Home Discount as a member of the ‘broader group’. You’ll need to qualify for one of Bulb’s eligible low-income benefits, as well as another benefit from their list of criteria.
Bulb Energy meter readings
There are few different ways that you can submit your Bulb Energy meter readings.
- Online - Submit your Bulb Energy meter readings via your online account.
- Using the Bulb app - Use your phone’s camera to submit meter readings via the app.
- By phone - You can contact Bulb customer service.
Is this your first time taking a meter reading? If you’ve never done it before, it can be a bit confusing. Head to our complete meter reading guide for assistance to ensure that your readings and bills are accurate.
If you’re tired of having to submit Bulb Energy meter readings each month, we recommend having a smart meter installed. This type of meter will automatically send meter readings each month, so you no longer have to worry about estimated billing.
Similar to its domestic energy offerings, Bulb Energy provides just one tariff for business energy. It also includes 100% renewable electricity and 100% carbon neutral gas. Unlike most other business energy suppliers, Bulb does not charge exit fees for leaving the contract early.
Business energy customers must pay a standing charge of 27.40p per day for both gas and electricity. Unit rates vary depending on the fuel and location of the business.
For more details on the latest business prices and deals, head to our Bulb business energy guide (coming soon!).
Bulb Energy Referral Scheme
Bulb Energy offers a £50 referral scheme! You and a friend can get up to £50 when he/she joins through your referral link.
If the recruit switches only the electricity or gas supply to Bulb Energy (rather than both fuels), each of you will only get £25.
As the referrer, your recruit must use your individual link when he/she signs up to Bulb Energy online. You will only receive the reward once the switch has been successful.
A friend is not eligible to be recruited if any of the following are applicable:
- He/she has already signed up to Bulb Energy.
- He/she is already on supply with Bulb Energy.
- He/she has been a customer within the past 12 months.
- He/she is under the age of 18.
If your friend cancels the agreement before the switch has gone through, all rewards will be cancelled. As the referrer, you should receive an email when a recruit signs up, and again when the switch has taken place.
Is it worth switching to Bulb Energy?
With competitive prices and 100% renewable electricity, Bulb Energy seems to be a great choice for an energy supplier. However, from looking at Bulb Energy reviews, we found that customers have complained about long wait times, both on the phone and with email responses.
It was also recently revealed that nearly 11,400 customers were charged multiple standing charges by mistake between December 2017 and June 2020. In total, these Bulb Energy customers were overcharged by nearly £700 thousand! Bulb has since paid back all affected customers, as well as an additional £675,000 in goodwill payments.
Another concern we have with Bulb Energy is that the supplier does not offer fixed-rate tariffs. This means that customers may see their energy bills increase with the wholesale price of energy. Fortunately, customers are free to switch suppliers without having to pay an exit fee if they notice their bills increasing.
How long does it take to switch to Bulb?
It can take up to 21 days for your switch to Bulb Energy to go through. This includes a 14-day cooling-off period from the day you sign up. During this two-week period, you can cancel the switch to Bulb Energy.
Once you’ve registered with Bulb, the switching date can not be changed. Newly registered Bulb Energy customers can track the progress of their switch via their online Bulb account.
Contact Bulb Energy
Need to contact Bulb Energy. You can find the supplier’s contact details laid out in the table below. For more details about how to contact the supplier, head to our dedicated Bulb Energy contact guide.
|Department||Contact Number||Opening Hours|
|Bulb Energy customer service||0300 303 0635||Monday to Friday: 9am-6pm|
|Gas leak||0800 111 999||24/7|
|Energy Ombudsman||0330 440 1624||Monday to Friday: 8am-8pm, Saturday: 9am-1pm|
Bulb Energy fuel mix
Since launching in 2015, Bulb Energy has provided 100% renewable electricity. This electricity comes from sources such as solar, wind and hydropower. This proportion of renewable electricity is much higher than the UK average, which is 38%.
The gas that Bulb Energy supplies is also 100% carbon neutral. This means that Bulb offsets the emissions by funding projects to reduce carbon emissions across the world.