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Bulb start refunding exit fees for switchers

Small energy supplier Bulb encourages switching by paying the early exit fees charged by its competitors

bulb exit fees

Early exit fees — a deterrent for switching

You may currently be on the cheapest deal available, or perhaps your supplier / plan already offers no early exit fees; however, for many of us early exit fees attached to energy plans can be frustrating, and can outweigh any savings to be had from switching when a better deal becomes available.

When a fixed energy plan has 42 – 49 days left before its end date, exit fees can no longer be charged by the supplier. This Ofgem requirement means it’s often sensible to wait until this time frame before switching to a new plan, as switching away before this window can cost you around £30 per fuel in exit fees — and that’s on top of any energy you may still owe for.

Now new supplier to the market, Bulb, has acted on a community member’s suggestion to help reduce this barrier and offer a solution: they’ll refund your old supplier’s exit fees.

How Bulb’s refund idea works

When switching to Bulb’s tariff (vari-fair), the customer can simply send Bulb a photo or scan of their final bill showing any exit fees that may have been incurred. Bulb will then credit the member’s account with a balance reflecting these fees.

Bulb co-founder, Hayden Wood commented:

“We’re passionate about giving people the freedom to choose where they get their energy from. For years UK consumers have been getting a raw deal from their energy supplier.

“Fear of costly exit fees is a significant barrier for people who want to switch, locking them into expensive tariffs. One of our Bulb community members suggested we refund any fees from switching. We thought it was a fantastic idea and decided to make it happen.

He added:

“We don’t charge exit fees ourselves, and we’re now refunding members who were charged exit fees by their last supplier.”

Read more

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Cheap fixed deals not supporting vulnerable consumers

  • John Collier

    I would rather pay slighly extra and be with a Company I know. I havwe been with British Gas on a collective switch and I am more than happy with the amount I pay for the energy I use as I pay each month for what I use.
    When I have contacted them , their customer service is 1st Class and not like years a go.
    Lots have chnaged in the Energy Market, however go with a Company you know will deliver A service and have experience if anything goes wrong when you have no supply.
    Also custoemrs who are oveer 65 or on means tested benifits usually qualify for The Warm Home Discount Scheme which pays £140.00 towards your electicity account. This opens on August 1st.
    Ask yourself , Do these smaller Companies take part in this Scheme as I know alot don’t and you could be missing out on so much.
    Always research the Company first.

    • Marco

      If you have a power cut or n gas supply its not your provider you contact anyway
      Im with gb energy supply. Alot cheaper than the big 6 and its the same gas and electric you recieve.

    • Bill Aitch

      @ 66 Iam still yet recieving my £200 winter heat allowance, despite my entire Benefit being sanction for the past 6 years. My entire annual energy bill is £100 -£120/annum. I have no hot water, for at least 6 years, or central heating for the past 18 years, and do not miss either. My only cooking for at least 18 years is kettle and M-Wave. My ultra-modern TV cost only £50, and only burns 12watts/hr, my DAB radio only 3watts/hr. Obviously I have no standing charge, and no E7 for at least 5yrs.

    • Lauren Vasquez

      Hi John,
      This is a good point to raise – if you are currently receiving Warm Home Discount (WHD) and want to switch, you should check if the new supplier supports this scheme. With a uSwitch comparison, this is easily done by clicking on the “Plan Info” button from your results. If the supplier does NOT support it, it will be stated clearly under “Plan features and info”.
      For more info on Warm Home Discount and who qualifies, please review our guide: https://www.uswitch.com/gas-electricity/guides/warm-home-discount/

    • Will at Bulb

      You make an excellent point. Trust is super important, and obviously newer entrants like us have to earn that trust. We spend a lot of time ensuring that we’re open and transparent about everything that we do, and we’re always looking for more ways to earn trust. In addition to warm home discount, what would you look for when you’re researching new suppliers?

  • Andy

    I was just thinking the other day how more competitive something like this would make the energy market. I do agree with John to some extent do your research if that’s not possible it’s your decision whether to take the step.

    • Will at Bulb

      Thanks Andy. Great minds think alike, and all that. Research is super important, and we hope we come off well.

  • Eric Millward

    John Collier’s comment is slightly misleading. Being over 65 does not necessarily qualify you to receive the Warm Home Discount. Search for Warm Home Discount to see the full qualification rules and a list of Companies in the scheme.

    • Ronald Ellams

      I don’t qualify for warm home discount as I get a company pension and am not able to claim any benefits It is misleading to have people believe they are entitled to warm home discount If you are over the threshold you do not qualify

      • Eric Millward

        Ronald that is exactly the point I was making.

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