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In this article we’ll compare the available Bulb tariffs in 2020. So you can make an informed decision about whether or not Bulb is the right supplier for your household. We all want to help bring about a greener and more renewable energy market. But that doesn’t mean that we should have to pay over the odds for our energy tariffs!
The coronavirus pandemic is likely to affect all of our personal finances. However, the UK lockdown will not affect the services we provide. Our team of experts are working hard to ensure that you make savings on your energy bill by switching suppliers. Read more about your energy supply during COVID-19 here.
When choosing the best energy rates for your home, it’s important to keep changing suppliers. Indeed, Ofgem actively encourages energy consumers to switch suppliers regularly. It keeps the market competitive and keeps market prices consistently low. However, it’s also important to keep changing tariffs. Letting your tariff roll over after it expires can put you on a needlessly expensive standard tariff with a less than favourable rate. Bulb is one of the most popular and trusted green energy suppliers in the country, bringing 100% renewable energy and carbon-neutral gas to 1.6 million customers across the UK. But do Bulb tariffs in 2020 give you the value for money that you expect?
Bulb Tariffs and Prices
Bulb prides itself on offering energy consumers “fair prices that stay fair”. Indeed, a look at their tariffs page reveals that they are consistently cheaper than any of the “Big 6” suppliers, and even compares favourably to other green tariffs offered by suppliers like Outfox The Market and Octopus Energy.
Unlike most suppliers, Bulb do not offer a fixed rate tariff. Instead, it offers different versions of its variable “Vari-Fair” tariff for customers with standard credit meters, economy 7 credit meters, and prepayment meters to domestic customers. It also offers business tariffs for SMEs.
Please be aware that rates described are averaged out across the country. As such, your rates may vary slightly, depending on where in the UK you live.
Let’s take a closer look…
Bulb standard tariff
Bulb’s standard tariff bucks a few common energy industry trends. There are no fixed rates, and they are committed to ensuring that prices remain both variable and fair (hence “Vari-Fair”) to ensure that the rates accurately reflect the cost of energy. As their website states:
“Our variable plans reflect the true cost of energy. And we don’t do fixed contracts or exit fees, so you’ll never pay more just for sticking around”. This means that you can come and go as you please without having to worry about exit fees.
Their standard Vari-Fair tariff rates are as follows:
|Electricity unit rate||14.107p per kWh|
|Gas unit rate||3.061p per kWh|
|Electricity standing charge||19.79p per day|
|Gas standing charge||20.44p per day|
|Total estimated cost per month||£76.94|
|Total estimated cost per year||£923.26|
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
As we can see, this is significantly below Ofgem’s Energy Price Cap, which as of October 2020 is £1,042 per year for both fuels.
Bulb prepayment tariffs
Bulb also offers tariffs for customers with prepayment meters. While these unit rates are cheaper than those paid by customers with credit meters, this saving is offset by a higher standing charge.
Below we’ll look at rates for standard prepay meters and economy 7 prepay meters.
Bulb standard prepayment tariff
Those with a standard prepayment tariff that does not have dual rates will pay:
|Electricity unit rate||13.661p per kWh|
|Gas unit rate||3.208p per kWh|
|Electricity standing charge||25.91p per day|
|Gas standing charge||28.31p per day|
|Total estimated monthly cost||£81.59|
|Total estimated annual cost||£979.03|
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
Bulb Economy 7 tariff
For customers with Economy 7 meters, the Vari-fair tariff has two different rates for day and night. While some tariffs have very little difference between night and day rates, Bulb’s is fairly pronounced. Economy 7 hours usually fall between 10pm and 8am, depending on where in the country you are.
Economy 7 electricity rates for credit and prepayment meters are as follows:
|Meter Type||Day unit rate (per kWh)||Night unit rate (per kWh)||Standing charge (per day)||Estimated annual electricity price|
|Credit meter||16.447p per kWh||7.455p per kWh||19.79p||£604.44|
|Prepayment meter||16.086p per kWh||7.109p per kWh||25.91p||£611.81|
Annual estimates assume 58% usage during daytime hours and 42% usage during night hours.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.
Bulb business tariffs
If you run a business, it’s likely that your customers (and your staff) expect you to take active steps to make your business as environmentally friendly and carbon-neutral as possible. Switching to a renewable supplier is a good place to start. Bulb offers business tariffs for SMEs that, while not necessarily the cheapest on the market, are nonetheless competitively priced. What’s more, Bulb’s business energy tariffs do not have the lengthy tariffs and hefty exit fees that are usually associated with business energy.
Bulb’s business standing charges are 27.40 pence per day for both electricity and gas. Unit rates will depend on the size of your business and peak load times. Their business energy page places their average annual bill at £2,161.
Bulb tariffs compared: Which is the cheapest tariff?
|Tariff Name||Estimated Monthly Cost||Estimated Annual Cost|
|Vari-Fair Standard Tariff||£76.94||£923.26|
|Vari-Fair Economy 7 (Electricity Only)||£50.98||£611.81|
When comparing Bulb’s domestic energy tariffs, its standard economy 7 Vari-Fair rate works out the cheapest for customers with electricity-only. While day rates are slightly higher than standard credit meter rates, the lower standing charges help to make this the most economical tariff.
However, all of Bulb’s tariffs (including prepay tariffs) are significantly below the Energy Price Cap.
Bulb price changes in 2020
In September 2020, Bulb went against the grain, increasing the price of its Vari-Fair tariff by an average of £51 for dual fuel customers, at a time when most were reducing their prices in line with the new price cap. While this may be considered a red flag, it really speaks more to the excessive pricing of other suppliers than it does to Bulb. Even with this price rise considered, Bulb’s energy prices are still significantly below Ofgem’s cap.
Get a Bulb Energy quote
Think that Bulb might be the supplier for you? We can get you a quote that shows you just how much you could save on your energy, whatever kind of meter you use. As well as ensuring that you get the best green energy tariff for your needs, we can also manage your switch from end-to-end.
So you can enjoy cheaper, more renewable energy completely hassle-free.
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How much does Bulb charge per kWh?
That depends on the meter type and the fuel. Bulb’s unit rate charges per kWh are as follows:
- Standard credit meter: 14.107p per kWh for electricity, 3.061p per kWh for gas.
- Prepay standard meter: 13.661p per kWh for electricity, 3.208p per kWh for gas.
- Economy 7 credit meter: 16.447p per kWh day, 7.455p per kWh night.
- Economy 7 prepay meter: 16.086p per kWh day, 7.109p per kWh night.
What is the Bulb standing charge?
This also depends on the meter type and the fuel. Bulb’s standing charges are as follows:
- Standard credit meter: 19.79p per day for electricity, 20.44p per day for gas.
- Prepay standard meter: 25.91p per day for electricity, 28.31p per day for gas.
- Economy 7 credit meter: 19.79p per day for electricity.
- Economy 7 prepay meter: 25.91p per day for electricity.
Does Bulb have an exit fee?
No. Bulb is committed to delivering variable rate energy to customers with no exit fees.
Has Bulb raised its prices in 2020?
Yes. Although dual fuel prices dropped in February 2020, in September 2020 raised the price of its Vari-Fair tariff by an average of £51 for dual fuel customers to reflect the rising cost of wholesale energy.
Updated on 11 Jan, 2021