MSE News

Bulb to hike energy prices by a whopping 11.1% - its third increase this year

Green energy supplier Bulb is raising its prices for the third time this year, with 750,000 existing customers to be hit by a whopping rise of over 11% in November.

The Vari-Fair tariff – Bulb's standard and only tariff, with a variable rate – will rise by 11.1% for new customers from today (Monday 10 September). Existing customers and those already in the process of switching to Bulb will see the same price rise on Sunday 11 November. 

A typical user on this deal will now be faced with annual costs of £1,025, a steep increase of £102/year against current costs and up a massive £170/year from the start of 2018.

Energy price hikes have been rife this year across the market, and this is the third we've seen from Bulb after it announced an increase of 2.8% in February and an additional 5.1% in June

The change sees Bulb's Vari-Fair tariff crash out of the top three cheapest tariffs – meaning many customers could switch and save, as currently there are 27 tariffs cheaper than it on average. You can leave penalty-free as Bulb doesn't have any exit fees.

Last week, regulator Ofgem announced plans for the default tariff energy price cap, which would limit how much suppliers can charge for standard variable tariffs. Even after Bulb's latest increase, its Vari-Fair tariff is currently £111 less than the proposed cap of £1,136. 

To find the best deal for you, spend five mins on a full market comparison using our free Cheap Energy Club.

I'm a Bulb customer – how am I affected?

The price rise will impact all of Bulb's customers, though it has only announced new pricing for those with a credit meter. 

All variable tariffs, as the name suggests, are subject to price changes, though energy providers must give customers at least 30 days' notice. In this case, Bulb has provided customers with 60 days' notice.

On 11 November, existing Bulb customers with a credit meter will see an 11.1% increase, which means the typical household gas & elec bill will go up by an average £102/yr, to £1,025/yr. Individually, gas prices are rising by 19% – typically £86/yr – and electricity prices by 3.2%, or £16/yr on average.  

Bulb's new average price will be £166/yr more than the market's current cheapest and £87/yr more than the cheapest one-year fixed tariff. Make sure you use our free Cheap Energy Club to check you're still on the right deal for you.

If you're on prepay, prices are set to rise by £84/yr to £1,061/yr for a typical dual-fuel home - an increase of 8.6%.  

Bulb has a good track record of customer service, with 90% rating it 'great' in our most recent poll. If you'd like to switch to a provider with a similar level of service, rather than just the cheapest, you can use our 'superb' service Cheap Energy Club filter.

What does Bulb say?

Bulb's co-founder Hayden Wood said: "Bulb is committed to supplying energy at a fair price. After this change, we will still be £196 cheaper than the average big six standard tariff for the typical home.

"We have one tariff for all our members [on credit meters], which reflects the true cost of energy. When the wholesale cost of supplying energy changes, so does our tariff. We will drop prices when wholesale costs fall by £20 a year for an average home.

"We will continue on our mission to deliver simpler, cheaper, greener energy for all our members."

In a blog post published today, Bulb said wholesale energy costs had gone up substantially since June 2018. These costs are now 15% higher than they were just last month, it said.

This story was updated on Wednesday 12 September to include information on Bulb's prepay price increase.