Bulb Energy

Bulb Energy Ltd., trading as Bulb, is a privately financed energy supply company operating in the United Kingdom, based in London. Bulb began trading in August 2015, buying and selling electricity and gas to supply domestic properties. It is one of over 70 smaller energy companies competing with the "Big Six energy suppliers" which dominate the UK market. Bulb competes on price, offering a single variable tariff. It buys all its electricity and 10% of gas from renewable sources. Attracting venture capital, Bulb currently runs at a financial loss while achieving rapid growth in customers.

As of March 2019 Bulb has over a million customers, representing a 3% domestic market share. It is the largest supplier of renewable energy in the UK, and the eighth largest supplier overall.

Bulb Energy
Bulb
Private
IndustryEnergy supply
PredecessorsRegent Power Ltd., Hanbury Energy Ltd.
FoundedApril 2013, UK
FoundersAmit Gudka, Hayden Wood
Headquarters
London
Number of employees
200+ (2019)
ParentSimple Energy

Company history

Founding

Bulb Energy Ltd. was incorporated in April 2013 under the name Regent Power Ltd., and was known as Hanbury Energy Ltd. between June and October 2015.[1] Its parent company is Simple Energy.[2] The company began to trade energy in August 2015.[3] Since it began trading, the directors have been Amit Gudka, a former energy market trader for Barclays, and Hayden Wood, a former management consultant.[3][4]

Finance capital

Initial funding came from the founders' savings and from their personal contacts. Backing was then obtained from JamJar Investments.[5] In August 2018 a further £60 million funding was secured from two backers: DST Global (owned by Russian billionaire Yuri Milner), and US hedge fund Magnetar Capital.[2][6] The value of the company is thought to be between £400M and £500M.[2]

Growth

Growth has been rapid since the start of 2017, and by early March 2019 the company had over 1 million customers and was employing over 200 staff.[2] Its headquarters moved in February 2019 from offices at Hanbury Street, Shoreditch to Bishopsgate in the City of London.[1][7]

Growth in number of Bulb's customers
Date Customers
(approx.)
Source
January 2017 15,000 [2]
August 2017 100,000 [8]
January 2018 200,000
300,000
[9]
[8]
August 2018 670,000 [2]
January 2019 870,000 [9]
March 2019 1,000,000 [2]

In terms of size Bulb has become the UK’s eighth energy supplier, smaller only than the "Big Six" and Ovo Energy,[10] and the UK’s largest renewable energy supplier.[11] This has been achieved without taking over customer accounts from failed suppliers, as rival companies have done.[12] An online investment company, SyndicateRoom, identified Bulb as the UK’s fastest-growing private company of 2018.[13]

Current provision

Bulb has attracted customers by promoting its "good customer service, low prices and promise to only use 100% renewable energy",[14][13] and its uniform tariff structure:[5] there is one tariff for all customers, with no exit fees or fixed-term contracts.[14][15] Bulb has suggested that the Big Six are overcharging, but the co-chief executive of one of the Big Six companies has cast doubts over the sustainability of pricing policies of Bulb and some of the other smaller companies, in the face of Bulb's £23.7m loss for the financial year 2017–18.[9]

Bulb supplies 100% renewable electricity, and 10% of its gas is "green" gas from biomethane.[16] About 50% of the electricity supplied by Bulb comes from wind power, 40 per cent from solar and most of the remainder from hydroelectricity.[6]

In addition to private households, Bulb supplies energy to businesses, although not to sole traders.[15]

References

  1. ^ a b "BULB ENERGY LTD - Overview (free company information from Companies House)". beta.companieshouse.gov.uk. Retrieved 11 March 2019.
  2. ^ a b c d e f g "Tech firms Bulb Energy and Monzo bag £200 million in funding". Evening Standard. 17 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b "Would you trust an energy firm run from a graffiti-scarred site?". This is Money. 19 January 2019.
  4. ^ "Bulb switches on revenue growth but losses spiral". Business Matters. 19 December 2018.
  5. ^ a b "Tech firm crowned UK's fastest-growing company". BusinessCloud.co.uk. 11 December 2018.
  6. ^ a b Havelock, Laurie (27 December 2018). "Bulb energy company targets one million customers as it takes on the 'big six'". i News.
  7. ^ "Energy group Bulb grows into City headquarters, despite suffering loss". This is Money. 2 March 2019.
  8. ^ a b "Challenger to Watch: Bulb Energy". The Challenger Project. 26 January 2018.
  9. ^ a b c Vaughan, Adam (14 January 2019). "SSE hits out after Bulb claims big energy firms are squeezing families". The Guardian.
  10. ^ Vaughan, Adam (28 February 2019). "Bulb to lower gas prices by 2% for 1 million customers". The Guardian.
  11. ^ Ross, Kelvin (1 October 2018). "Bulb Energy named in top startups list". Power Engineering International.
  12. ^ Vaughan, Adam (26 January 2019). "Small energy suppliers get a growth boost as their rivals collapse". The Observer.
  13. ^ a b "Bulb named as UK's fastest-growing private company". Utility Week. 10 December 2018.
  14. ^ a b Smith, Oliver (5 March 2018). "Bulb: The Bright Startup That's Shaking Up Britain's £54bn Energy Market". Forbes.
  15. ^ a b "Business gas suppliers: The 5 top UK providers reviewed". Startups.co.uk. 26 February 2019.
  16. ^ "What you need to know about Bulb, the fastest growing UK tech company". Evening Standard. 10 December 2018.

External links

British Energy Efficiency Federation

The British Energy Efficiency Federation (or BEEF) was founded in 1996 by the United Kingdom Government to provide a forum for consultation between existing industry associations in the energy sector.

Bulb (disambiguation)

A bulbous plant is one that possesses a bulb. Bulb may refer to

Bulb (in strict botanical use), a storage organ of a plant made up of fleshy leaf bases

Ornamental bulbous plant (in gardening or horticulture), any one of a number of different kinds of underground or near ground storage organs which can be dried and from which an ornamental plant can be grownOther meanings of bulb are:

Light bulb, a source of electric lighting

Flashbulb, a bright, rapid light bulb

Bulb (photography), a shutter setting

Bulbous bow, a protruding bulb at the bow below the waterline

Bulb keel, a term in naval architecture

Bulb Energy. a British energy supply company

Bulb Records, a record label

"Bulb" (song), a 1974 song by Van Morrison

Bulbs, a slang term for testicles

Bulb, of brain, a historical term referring to the medulla oblongata

BULB Act, a U.S. House bill sponsored by Rep. Joe Barton and others in 2011

Bulb, the solo project of guitarist Misha Mansoor

As an abbreviation, "Bulb" is short for the orchid genus Bulbophyllum.

Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology

The Centre for Renewable Energy Systems Technology (CREST) is a research centre into renewable energy based in the Department of Mechanical, Electrical and Manufacturing Engineering, Loughborough University in England.

Coal Authority

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EnQuest

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Energy Institute

The Energy Institute (EI) is a UK chartered professional membership body.

Energy Retail Association

The Energy Retail Association (ERA) was a trade association which promoted the interests of electricity and gas retailers in the domestic market in Great Britain, formed in 2003. In April 2012 it merged with the Association of Electricity Producers and the UK Business Council for Sustainable Energy to become Energy UK.

Expro

Expro (officially Expro International Group) is an international oil and gas service company, specializing in well flow management, headquartered in Reading, United Kingdom.

Franco-British Nuclear Forum

The first meeting of the Franco–British Nuclear Forum was held in Paris in November 2007, chaired by the Minister for Energy and the French Industry Minister. The working groups are focusing on specific areas for collaboration. A follow-up meeting on the issue in London was planned for March 2008,[1] but did not take place.[2]

Hardy Oil and Gas

Hardy Oil and Gas plc is a leading British-based oil and gas exploration and production business. It is headquartered in Aberdeen and is a former constituent of the FTSE 250 Index.

Murco Petroleum

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New Electricity Trading Arrangements

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Opus Energy

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Regal Petroleum

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Score Group plc

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Sunbury Research Centre

The Sunbury Research Centre -- also known as ICBT Sunbury -- is a main research institute of BP in north-east Surrey.

UK Power Networks

UK Power Networks is a distribution network operator for electricity covering South East England, the East of England and London. It manages three licensed distribution networks (Eastern Power Networks PLC, South Eastern Power Networks PLC and London Power Networks PLC) which together cover an area of 30000 square kilometres and approximately eight million customers.

In 2014 UK Power Networks was awarded £25 million from the electricity regulator Ofgem's Low Carbon Networks Fund for the Low Carbon London project. In 2011 it was awarded £6.7 million by Ofgem for another project, Flexible Plug and Play, which is researching new ways, technical and commercial, to connect renewable energy to the distribution network in Cambridgeshire.

As well as the three distribution arms UK Power Networks also operates UK Power Networks Services Holdings Limited, which develops and maintains electrical networks for clients including London Underground, Heathrow and Stansted airports, Docklands Light Railway and Canary Wharf.

WesternGeco

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Western Power Distribution

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Western Power Distribution is a subsidiary of the American utility corporation PPL.

It should not be confused with WPD, a wind farm company in north-western Europe, or Western Power Corporation, an electricity distributor in Australia.

United Kingdom power companies
Big Six suppliers
Distribution companies
Transmission companies
Other suppliers

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