Why I am switching to Bulb for gas and electricity

While large energy suppliers have been raising their gas and electricity prices recently, a small green energy company called Bulb are reducing their tariffs by 3% from today.

After I had written that news item about Bulb, I started to wonder if we would save money by switching to them ourselves. I have since learnt that you can EARN money by switching to Bulb too, which really adds icing to the cake!

I was initially sceptical because previously buying green energy has been more expensive, if a worthy cause. As we are fairly hefty energy users, I am sorry to admit that I have placed my wallet before the environment as far as electricity and gas prices are concerned.

However times have changed and new smaller and agile suppliers have emerged that are changing the way that we should be buying our home energy. Going Green may not be too expensive now, after all.

Read on to find out why….

If you want to sign up to Bulb Energy, click here to get a quote!

Old bills and a calculator

We currently buy our energy from Utility Warehouse. Although we don’t get their very best deals as we don’t buy mobile phone and broadband contracts from them, their prices are pretty reasonable, and their service is fine.

Overall, I have had no complaints with Utility Warehouse and I am generally happy to be their customer.

So to see how Utilities’ prices compared with Bulb, I went onto my online account and downloaded a few recent bills to get a good idea of my usage and their gas and electricity tariffs

Researching into energy charges with a laptop

To make sure I could make a fair comparison, I also started looking at some of the ‘Big Six’ energy prices – or tried to.

Finding energy prices – what a nightmare!

Trying to find gas and electricity tariffs on energy suppliers websites is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. I think it is appalling how difficult they make it for consumers to compare prices.

Sadly, Utility Warehouse must fall into this category too. To find their tariffs you have to go to this page and enter your postcode and house address. You are then presented with a huge and confusing list of gas and electricity products, each with options for direct debit and payment by cash or cheque.

Although I have been a Utility Warehouse customer for over two years, I had no idea what product we were subscribing to, so I gave up and calculated our gas, electricity and standing charges from the bills instead.

Stressed lady using a laptop

Next up for the price discovery journey was British Gas.

You follow the links to their gas and electricity prices page and then have to get a quote before this large company divulges their charges.

So once you have waited an age for the quote form to load, you then have to supply a whole heap of information about where you live and how much energy you anticipate using, so I didn’t bother.

However British Gas do kindly allow you to download an Excel spreadsheet which does contain their tariffs. To get my comparison charges, I did download this, but seriously, is this what we have to do to find out how much these companies charge?

Bulb energy charges – dead easy to find and so simple to understand

And so to the Bulb website to find their tariffs. By comparison, what a joy!

Simply navigate to their tariff page, enter your postcode and press the “See tariff details for my area” link. Your charges are immediately displayed and if you want you can get a more detailed idea about what your annual costs would be by clicking on the Get a quote button and following the really quick and easy steps for the type of house, number of bedrooms.

Within about 5 seconds, I knew what the gas and electricity tariffs are and had an estimation of my total annual usage costs.

Bulb also only have one rate for gas and one rate for electricity. No huge lists of confusing products and payment methods.

It is obvious that large energy companies want to confuse you, and are certainly being successful with me, even after the governmental attempts to bring clarification and transparency into the energy industry.

How do costs compare?

As I have said, it is really not easy to find comparable costs from different suppliers. I didn’t want to spend days battling with all the energy websites I could find, so I have limited my research just to Bulb, Utility Warehouse (my current supplier) and British Gas.

Don’t forget that I did this not only for this article, but also as part of my own decision making about switching from Utility Warehouse.

These charges are for the Standard (variable) tariffs from each provider. It is impossible to compare deals when you start to look at the different products and payment options.

All prices include VAT. The standing charge is per day and applies to gas and electricity, so double this figure for dual fuel supply.

Supplier Elec KWh Gas KWh Standing Charge
Bulb 14.235p 2.672p 27.3p
British Gas 13.47 3.78p 26.01p
Utility Warehouse 14.024 3.754p 17p

Even that simple table is confusing, so I made these assumptions to come up with this price comparison:

  • Assumed Annual Electricity Consumption: 3100 kWh
  • Assumed Gas Consumption: 12500 kWh
  • Dual fuel supply so multiply standing daily charge by two
  • The costs are for the South West, they vary by region

And the final annual costs are…..

Bulb £944.58*
Utility Warehouse £1028.09
British Gas £1079.94

Please note the following:

  • Your usages are almost certainly different from these assumptions.
  • * This includes a £30 per annum discount for duel fuel.
  • There are plenty of other green and conventional energy suppliers. There may be better deals out there!

You save money by switching to Bulb!

So, given these assumptions (which may not represent your circumstances), this fevered bout of activity on my calculator shows that Bulb is the cheapest supplier for dual fuels.

Bulb also supplies 100% renewable electricity and 10% Green Gas so not only do you (potentially, do your own calculations) save money, but you are also doing something very good for the environment and are helping the growing green energy industry to thrive.

Bulb get my vote and I have decided to switch to them. I intend to write another article soon to show how easy that switching process is, or not.

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