This energy company review will take a look at Bulb, which is a new and independent dual fuel energy provider serving England, Scotland and Wales. Bulb has come a long way since its launch in 2015 and is proving to be popular with customers, based on its excellent customer service and transparent charging structure.
Bulb is a green energy supplier and it provides one tariff supplying 100% renewable electricity and 10% renewable gas. The 10% green gas comes from biomethane which is produced from organic materials, like sewage and manure. Their electricity is provided by three hydro-power sites, one of which is Llyn Brenig in Wales, alongside wind and solar power. Bulb is also looking into generating added power by using wind turbine energy. The company is committed to working with like-minded businesses and passing all cost savings over to the customer.
The business was founded by entrepreneurs Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka, who had both spent time working within the energy sector and had come to the realisation that renewable energy did not need to be as expensive as consumers thought. The two entrepreneurs felt there was a gap in the market for a new provider which maintains a genuine commitment to value for money and excellence in customer service. A government survey had highlighted that three out of four people would switch to renewable energy if they could, but only 1% of households had sourced a supplier that was 100% renewable.
The Bulb energy ethos is based on straightforward tariffs that are transparent enough for customers to understand. The company offer one single tariff for gas and electricity, and it’s one of the cheapest around.
The variable tariff from Bulb is one of the cheapest on the market, unlike some of the other suppliers of green energy. Customers wanting to leave Bulb will find that there are no exit fees, which is another positive point. The company manages to maintain low prices through its use of the latest technologies and cutting profit margins to the bone.
Bulb claims to provide the cheapest 100% renewable electricity and advises that consumers can save up to £250 when switching to their service. As a comparison, in the London area, Bulb states that an average dual fuel tariff from any of the six biggest providers costs from £1,118 to £1,196, and that their tariff would be just £852 (at August 2017). This means customers in the London area could make big savings between £266 and £344 annually. The average cost for other 100% renewable electricity tariffs amounts to at least £1,000, so Bulb compares really well with its peers in the market.
There is only one available tariff with Bulb and this is called Vari-Fair. This is a variable tariff which means it can go up or down, so customers are slightly exposed to leaps in wholesale energy costs.
Bulb cut its energy prices in June 2017, which was the second price cut in six months and was down to reductions in wholesale costs. The company is very quick to pass over reductions in wholesale costs to customers, however, they did announce a 2.8% increase in costs in February 2018 which was down to increases in wholesale energy costs.
Bulb has an online community which is open to all customers and can provide a good deal of account information. The community also feeds into the way in which the business is run. Community members are asked for feedback on a variety of matters relating to the business, including new website functionality and customer service stories. Customers will find that participating in the online community is simple and quite fun and Bulb also communicate on a regular basis via emailed newsletters. A varied FAQs section and an open consumer forum contribute to the online community aspects of Bulb and help make the energy supplier stand out when compared to other suppliers.
In February 2016, Bulb came top of a MoneySavingsExpert poll into the most economical green energy suppliers and the company are also proud to say that they are a Living Wage employer, which could be another good reason to switch to this supplier.
According to a Which? customer survey, Bulb customers rated the energy provider sixth out of 31 energy providers. Which? respondents rated Bulb highly for their billing service and accuracy, online customer service and value for money. The only downside the Which? survey team could dig up was that the Bulb online chat service was a little slow in responding to queries.
Bulb does set a target to answer customer phone calls within eight seconds and, although the average time taken to answer survey calls was slightly longer than this, they still do provide a high quality of customer service. As Bulb is quite a small business, it’s difficult to say how the customer service team would cope in the event of massive uptake of the service.
The price comparison site uSwitch also rate Bulb highly and gave the company five stars in their UK energy customer’s review. Customers rated Bulb very highly for the ease with which it is possible to switch services, alongside value for money and excellence in customer service.
Bulb is a supplier that’s well worth considering, particularly for people wanting to reduce their overall carbon footprint. The company has been awarded Certified Corporate B status, which is a global award given to businesses aiming to tackle social or environmental issues. Use this link to sign up and get your free £50 account credit