Three hikes in 2018 - Bulb raises prices for 600,000 households

Published by Stephen Little on 10 September 2018.
Last updated on 14 September 2018

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Bulb Energy is hiking prices for the third time this year, with customers being hit with an inflation-busting 11.1% increase in November.

The standard variable tariff (SVT) will increase by 11.1% for new customers from today. Existing members will stay on their current rates for 60 days until 11th November. 

Over 600,000 households will see their average annual bills go up from £923 to £1,025 - a rise of £8.50 per month or £102 a year. Bulb’s SVT has now risen three times - from £855 to £879 in April, then again in August to £923, finally settling on £1,025 – overall a 20% increase.

Currently the average costs of an SVT is £1,096 which still makes Bulb cheaper than most other providers. However, the current cheapest SVT comes from little-known Igloo Energy at £871, according to uSwitch.

Bulb blames the increase on rising wholesale energy costs, which it says have gone up by 15% since August.

In a statement on its website, Bulb says: “Unfortunately, energy prices have continued to rise since our last update in August when we said that we might have to increase our prices. So, sadly, we do.”

The renewable energy provider warned earlier this year that prices could rise due to increases costs. It is the third time it has raised prices this year, following a 5.1% increase in June.

Rik Smith, energy expert at uSwitch.com, says: “Customers have the huge increases in wholesale energy costs to thank for this latest hike, but that will be of little consolation to the 600,000 who will be directly hit by this news.

“This is a case of third time unlucky for Bulb customers and a sharp reminder that for peace of mind, customers should fix their energy tariff. Just as the cold weather kicks in, Bulb customers now have to face the prospect of paying an extra £102 per year for their energy.”

uSwitch says the rise is the 41st from an energy supplier this year.

Earlier this month, British Gas announced its second price rise this year, which will take the typical standard variable tariff bill to £1,205 a year.

E.on, SSE, Npower, EDF, Scottish Power and Bulb have also introduced price rises this year.

Time to switch

According to energy switching rules, anyone on a fixed-term tariff has a right to switch to a new deal without paying exit fees when there are 49 or less days before the fixed-term ends.

Mr Smith says: “It’s never been more important to shop around for the best energy deal. As well as saving up to £482 a year, fixing your energy will protect you from the relentless barrage of price rises and provide much-needed peace of mind as we head into winter.” 

Energy regulator Ofgem recently announced the provisional cap on standard variable tariffs, which it says will save households up to £120 on the most expensive rates.

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