Bulb Energy is a green energy supplier that harbours ambitions of competing alongside the traditional ‘big 6’ suppliers. It specialises in providing renewable energy to its rapidly growing customer base with a pledge to make energy “simpler, cheaper and greener’. They supply 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas from sustainable sources such as food or farm waste. Although the majority of the gas is not ‘green’, 100% of the gas supplied is carbon neutral.
The company was formed in 2015 and by the end of 2017 could boast of holding the accounts of around 200,000 customers. By the end of 2018 this had ballooned to an incredible 800,000. In March of this year the company was able to realise a major goal when it tipped over the 1 million customer mark. This equates to a 3% share of the energy market. This is not the point at which Bulb’s ambitions end, the plan going forward is for the company to be one of the largest energy companies within the next 5 years.
This meteoric rise has not happened by chance. A clear marketing strategy along with strong customer service scores and some clever gimmicks have all helped to thrust this start-up from absolutely nowhere, to the UK’s 8th biggest energy supplier. The culmination of a number of factors and an intense attention to detail are ensuring that this momentum is continued.
Referral schemes are nothing new but with £100 on offer, this one appears to have been very effective. Referring a potential new customer will earn you and your friend £50 each, once they have signed up. To take advantage of this offer, all an existing customer needs to do is follow the simple instructions on the Bulb website. As far as incentives go, they don’t get more directly beneficial to your pocket than that. But a cash offer is never going to be enough on its own as most people would be unlikely to encourage an actual friend to sign up to a bad deal, even with an offer of easy money. Consistently high customer service scores, along with a growing positive reputation are all helping to ensure that referrals can be given guilt free, whilst also helping to grow the brand.
Tariffs and Prices
Media advertising is all aimed at pushing an inclusive for all message with the added bonus of helping the planet. However, Bulb is careful not to make the mistake of becoming a niche product and thereby reducing its appeal to the masses. The company directors are very aware that this business model is only sustainable with a large number of customers, which is why it pushes the green model alongside a very competitive tariff and top rated customer service.
Bulb only offer one variable tariff, for duel fuel, which currently averages at around £1000 per year. This gives the company the flexibility to react quickly to outside factors such as wholesale gas prices, which helps protect the sustainability of the company. That being said, intentions with regards to price rises or drops are well communicated through the companies blogs. After two rises throughout 2018, Bulb energy was the first of the bigger companies to lower the tariff in response to wholesale prices reducing.
Openness and Feedback
Much of the customer feedback given on various third party websites centres around a perception of trust in the company that seems to have helped grow a positive overall picture of Bulb energy in an industry that has a relatively poor reputation, especially at the top of the market. This is helped by the communication from Bulb to its customers that does not shy away from discussing the negative aspects of decisions taken, especially regarding pricing. It is also telling that customers are free to leave whenever they choose without incurring any exit fees. It is also worthy of note that Bulb energy will pay up to £120 towards any exit fees you may be faced with when switching from another company.
When this is all pieced together you can see that the work put in by the team at Bulb energy, is paying off in a big way. Low prices and good customer service has led to the brand being looked at positively. The trust between itself and its customers has built up over time and is key to holding on to customers for longer. They are believed to have less churn of customers than any other company at the top of the market.
So now that the customers are happy with the service and paying less for gas and electricity, it is an easy sell for existing customers to refer a friend. This increases Bulb’s customer numbers and gives the customers a £50 bonus. Add into the mix that this is a 100% ‘green’ supplier with a clear, understandable message and it’s easy to see why Bulb energy is being tipped to break into the ‘big 6’ and continue to shake up the energy market.