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Updates from Team Bulb

The Energy Switch Guarantee: why it matters and how we’re doing

A woman with a curved blue arrow going left and a curved green arrow going right in front of her.

The Energy Switch Guarantee is a voluntary set of promises that suppliers sign up to in an effort to provide a reliable, hassle-free switch to new members.

The good folk who look after the Guarantee measure all participating providers to make sure they’re sticking to the commitments made of them. We signed up to this back in 2016 so we could make it easy for members to join us and receive an affordable, renewable alternative to their old supplier. And in this post, we’re sharing the data from Q2 (April - June) of this year because we set ourselves standards, and we believe our members should be able to see how we’re doing, and where we need to improve. You can see the data in the table below:

Table listing Bulb's performance when it comes to switching members from previous suppliers.

Making sense of the data

Overall we performed well, but fell short in a couple of areas. We’ll take a closer look at where we slipped up, and how we’re going to put that right.

How did we do this quarter?

Complaints about switching

We’re making switching as hassle-free as possible and this is reflected in our data. We have received minimal complaints in proportion to our number of switches.

The time it takes to switch

Our average switch time for electricity and gas was 21 and 22 days respectively. This means our average switch time for this quarter was over 21 days.

While 3% of switches took over 21 days, all cases are considered valid exceptions, where what caused the delay was out of our control. Between 30th May and 6th June, our data manager had a technical error where gas registrations for new members were not sent to us. USS are responsible for transferring all data between energy suppliers during a member’s switch. We spotted this within the week, reapplied for the information we needed, and informed our members about the delay.

Sending final bills

This quarter we improved the proportion of final bills issued within 6 weeks from 77.3% last quarter to 95.1%.

Issuing refunds

71% of refunds were issued within 14 days after the final bill. Unfortunately, due to a bug, we had a number of refunds that were issued late, meaning our average time to issue refunds after a final bill was 21 days. Once we noticed this bug in our system, we fixed it immediately and manually processed the delayed refunds.

How are we planning to do better next quarter?

Decrease the number of late refunds

We’ve already identified the main issue that is preventing us from sending some refunds within the 14-day window. This happens when members have cancelled their direct debit. We have begun developing a process that will help us process refunds even when the direct debit has been cancelled.

Make sure switches complete on time

To ensure switches complete on time, we now use an automated tracking system which highlights when there’s a mismatch between the data that we receive from and send to our data manager. This means we can catch issues straight away rather than hearing about it through unhappy members. By catching these issues straight away we’ll be able to make sure switches complete on time, all the time.

We’re really pleased to be a part of the Energy Switch Guarantee. Not only does it provide us with our own performance data, but it also allows us to be better and provide us with the transparency to keep our members informed. Be sure to check in at the end of next quarter to see how we performed.

Although we didn’t quite hit our targets last quarter, we think it’s important our members know how we’re performing. And we think other suppliers should do the same. A more informed consumer = a happy consumer.

Knowing how we’re doing helps us to improve. And it gives us useful information to share with our members. Be sure to check in at the end of next quarter to see how we performed.

Do you have any thoughts on the Guarantee, or any bright ideas on how we can improve? Let us know in the Bulb Community.