Bulb Energy

One of the UK’s most popular energy suppliers, Bulb is known for its commitment to 100% renewable electricity, competitively low prices, and dedicated, professional customer service.

An image of the Bulb Energy logo

Last updated: 23 October 2020

In this guide you’ll find information including: 

  • Bulb Energy prices

  • What Bulb Energy tariffs are available?

  • Does Bulb have any prepayment options?

  • Does Bulb have smart meter plans?

  • Why login to Bulb Energy?

  • How green is Bulb gas and electricity?

  • Bulb Energy reviews and reputation

  • Bulb contact details

  • Is Bulb electricity and gas right for me?

About Bulb Energy

  • Founded: 2013

  • HQ: London

  • Total customers: 1.4 million

  • Trustpilot rating: 4/5 stars

One of the UK’s most popular energy suppliers, Bulb is known for its commitment to 100% renewable electricity, competitively low prices and dedicated, professional customer service. Bulb is often referred to as Bulb Energy.

Bulb was founded in 2013 by a pair of entrepreneurs – Hayden Wood and Amit Gudka – who felt that the offerings from UK suppliers at the time weren’t truly catering to the needs of the average UK household or the planet. During their time working for traditional energy providers – what they refer to as ‘dirty energy’ – Wood and Gudka became fed up with the unsustainable approach to energy generation that most providers were then embracing. In response, they decided to create a green energy company that not only provided customers with high levels of service but also cared for the environment.  

Bulb Energy prices

To modernise the energy industry while simultaneously fulfilling its corporate responsibilities, Bulb needed to redefine how an energy provider should operate from the ground-up. Bulb wants to be seen as being completely different to the as a forward-thinking, ethical provider. 

To keep prices as low as possible, Bulb has invested heavily in technology passing the resulting savings its customers. It also offers gas and electricity on one simple tariff – Vari-Fair – which is another way that Bulb can cut costs. Bulb is also willing to make lower profits than its competitors in a bid to reduce energy prices. All these measures combined, allowed Bulb Energy to win the Best Value for Money category in the 2020 Uswitch Energy Awards

Bulb Energy uses variable rather than fixed-rate pricing, which means that the standing charge and cost of energy fluctuates according to wholesale energy prices, which Bulb believes reflects the true cost of energy. 

Bulb’s electricity and gas pricing also varies according to where you live. We found differences of up to two pence in daily standing charges and unit costs across a range of postcodes, so it’s worth checking prices in your location. The table below represents costs in central Birmingham.

Bulb electricity and gas costs – Direct Debit or on receipt of bill

Electricity Unit Rate 15.7752p per kWh
Electricity Standing Charge 20.7176p per day
Gas Unit Rate 2.9264p per kWh
Gas Standing Charge: 36.33p per day 20.4435p per day

Bulb electricity and gas costs – prepayment meter, topped-up in store (PAYG)

Electricity Unit Rate 16.26p per kWh
Electricity Standing Charge 27.854p per day
Gas Unit Rate 2.821p per kWh
Gas Standing Charge: 36.33p per day 28.308p per day

Bulb electricity and gas costs – prepayment meter, topped-up online or with a smart card in store (Smart PAYG)

Electricity Unit Rate 16.26p per kWh
Electricity Standing Charge 27.854p per day
Gas Unit Rate 2.821p per kWh
Gas Standing Charge: 36.33p per day 28.308p per day

Prices correct as of September 2020

What Bulb Energy tariffs are available?

There is just one tariff available with Bulb, which covers both gas and electricity: Vari-Fair. It’s a variable-rate plan that Bulb promises offers simplicity, fair pricing and energy from 100% renewable resources. The company also gives customers at least 30 days’ notice if rates are due to change due to fluctuations in the wholesale market. 

There are no exit fees should you choose to leave your energy plan early. And if you do decide to switch provider, Bulb Energy will also cover any exit fees you may face when switching to it from your current provider (up to a maximum of £60 for electricity and £60 for gas).  

Bulb’s Vari-Fair tariff can also be used with an Economy 7 meter

There is a special tariff designed for businesses, which Bulb claims is 15% cheaper than the big six suppliers’ offers, while still offering renewable, ethically sourced energy. 

Does Bulb have any prepayment options?

Bulb has also introduced a prepayment tariff for customers who prefer the pay-as-you-go (PAYG) approach of paying for energy. You need to have a prepayment meter set up in your home to join Bulb’s prepayment tariff. Under this plan, you top up your meter by visiting one of the UK’s 28,000 PayPoints, which are usually located in newsagents and convenience stores. There’s no contract period or exit fees, so you’re free to move on whenever you wish. You can even switch to this plan with £500 of debt on your gas and electricity meter. 

Does Bulb have smart meter plans?

Bulb Energy is available for customers who wish to use a smart meter. Smart meters are quickly becoming the standard for UK households, and are designed to let consumers monitor their energy use and thereby save money on their energy bills. 

Once your smart meter is linked to your Bulb account, you no longer need to take meter readings yourself as the relevant data is sent directly to the supplier. And because this data is sent so regularly, it paints a much more accurate picture of your energy consumption than you’d get from traditional readings. This means that with a smart meter, you only pay for the energy you’ve used. 

For example, you may login to your Bulb Energy app and notice from the collected data that you’ve got your lights on or appliances running when they’re not in use, leading to a lot of unnecessary costs. So, while smart meters won’t reduce your bills directly, when used to identify where you’re regularly wasting electricity and gas, they could encourage you to change your habits and save money. Bulb reports that consumers use 10% less gas and electricity when they have detailed information about their usage.  

Bulb had hoped to offer every customer a smart meter by the end of 2020, in line with UK government recommendations, but because of the impact of COVID 19, suppliers have now been given until June 2021 to install the new technology. The rollout began with households in which the installation was most likely to succeed: those in areas with good network coverage and access to trained engineers. 

Smart meter installation is completely free of charge. While Bulb will be inviting all customers to switch to a smart meter as soon as it’s practical, changing your meter is by no means mandatory. You can continue to use traditional meters, and should you change your mind down the line, you can still have a smart meter installed for free. 

Why login to Bulb Energy

Even if you don’t have a smart meter, you may still wish to install the free Bulb app or login to your Bulb Energy online account. The app is available free on Android and Apple phones and tablets and enables you to do the following: 

  • Transmit meter readings

  • Change your payment setup

  • View and download statements

  • Claim £50 for a Bulb referral 

  • Check your Bulb account details

  • Get assistance with your Bulb account

If you login to Bulb Energy online, you can also: 

  • Edit your Bulb account details

  • Top up your balance

  • Track your energy usage

  • Make arrangements for moving house

  • Check your tariff 

How green is Bulb gas and electricity?

Bulb Energy claims that by switching to its Vari-Fair tariff, you could reduce your carbon footprint by about 25%, with the average Bulb member lowering their carbon impact by 3.4 tonnes of CO2 a year. It would take about 1,689 trees to absorb this much carbon per year, according to the Forestry Commission.  

All electricity provided by Bulb is 100% renewable, and for every unit that you use, Bulb will produce a unit to be put back on the grid, using renewable sources like hydro-electric, and solar and wind power. 

Bulb’s gas is 100% carbon neutral with 4% coming from renewable sources between April 2019 and March 2020. The fuel mix for Bulb renewable gas during the same period was: 

  • Purpose-grown crops: 74%

  • Food or farm waste: 18%

  • Residues (e.g. vegetable peelings, cereal straw): 8%

The 96% of gas that wasn’t created by renewable means was offset by Bulb’s contribution to numerous carbon-reduction programmes across the globe. 

Bulb aims to have a direct relationship with all its renewable energy generators in the UK, where possible. When Bulb’s main sources aren’t able to produce sufficient electricity, the shortfall is purchased on the wholesale market. All electricity bought comes with a renewable energy certificate, which allows Bulb to trace every unit of electricity back to a renewable source. 

Bulb Energy also donates £2 to the Bulb Foundation for every new customer it gets. The Bulb Foundation offers grants to charities and social enterprises focussed on tackling the climate crisis. 

Bulb Energy reviews and reputation 

Bulb was the runner-up in the Customer Satisfaction category in the 2020 Uswitch Awards. 

Bulb Energy reviews tend to be quite positive across the board - at the time of writing in September 2020, it has a 4.8 rating on Trustpilot from over 61,000 reviews. Bulb is recognised for its clear, concise and friendly approach to customer service and for its user-friendly account management process. Bulb also ensures that customers know their concerns are being heard and considered. For example, within its first year of operation, Bulb began its initiative of paying exit fees for new customers switching to Bulb, and this was done in response to requests from customers. 

Above all, it’s the combination of Bulb’s notably low prices and its sustainable, ethical approach to energy production that boosts Bulb Energy’s reviews and draws consumers to its brand. 

Bulb contact details 

If you have a query or complaint that can’t be answered via Bulb’s help page or its online community forum, you can contact the provider directly. 

Phone number 0300 30 30 635
AddressBulb, 155 Bishopsgate, London, EC2M 3TQ

Is Bulb Electricity and Gas right for me? 

Even if reducing your carbon footprint isn’t your priority, Bulb is still worth considering as an energy provider.  It’s committed to keeping prices down and has a strong reputation for customer service. Its commendation for customer satisfaction in the 2020 Uswitch Awards and its high rating on Trustpilot both speak for themselves. If you care about green issues, then Bulb Energy’s ethical stance is bound to appeal.