Renewable energy provider Bulb has today (11 June) announced plans to raise prices by an average of 5.1 per cent.

The supplier has blamed the price hike on “substantial increases in the wholesale cost of gas and electricity”, which will see the typical annual bill increase to £923, up from £879 – a rise of £4 per month.

More than 450,000 bill payers currently on Bulb’s single Vari-Fair tariff will be affected. The change comes into effect on 12 August 2018 and all customers will receive 60 days’ notice of the price increase. Any new customers switching to Bulb will pay the new rates.

This is Bulb’s second price increase this year. In February the company announced that all customers on the Vari-Fair tariff would be hit by an average 2.8 per cent price hike. However, the company said since this price change, wholesale energy costs have increased by 21 per cent.

The company, founded in 2015, has dropped its prices seven times over the last three years. The increase announced today is the third in the company’s history.

“Bulb is committed to supplying energy at a fair price. That’s why we have one tariff for all our members, which reflects the true cost of energy,” said Bulb co-founder Hayden Wood.

“When wholesale energy costs change, our tariff does too. These costs have climbed throughout 2018, and are now 21 per cent higher than they were in February. As a result, from August, our price will be going up by £4 per month for the average Bulb member.

“All our members receive 60 days’ notice of the rise, double what Ofgem recommend. And because we don’t charge exit fees, our members can leave at any time, at zero cost.”

Wood added: “Despite this rise, we remain one of the cheapest suppliers in the UK. We’ll continue to deliver simpler, cheaper, greener energy for all our members.”

On 10 May, Bulb emailed all its customers to warn them of a potential price increase should wholesale energy costs continue to climb.

According to Bulb, its average customer is billed £260 less than the average big six standard tariff.

However, Peter Earl, head of energy at Comparethemarket.com said it was disappointing to see smaller providers like Bulb joining the big six price stampede.

“With energy giants increasing the cost of energy for those on standard variable tariffs, this is the ideal opportunity for more nimble competitors to attract customers through lower prices,” commented Earl.

“Bulb may miss out on this by following the herd, and unfortunately, as we’ve seen over the past year, price hikes can sometimes result in a loss of customers. This should act as a reminder to those directly affected by these changes, that there are cheaper deals available to those who take the time to switch.”

The announcement from Bulb comes after a series of recent price increases from suppliers across the industry. Last month SSE announced plans to raise gas and electricity prices for duel fuel customers on its standard variable tariff by an average of 6.7 per cent, starting on 11 July.

Npower also announced an average price rise of 5.3 per cent – made up of an average of 4.4 per cent on gas and 6.2 per cent on electricity – which will come into effect on 17 June.

In April, Scottish Power and British Gas both revealed plans to increase prices by an average of 5.5 per cent, while EDF announced a hike of 1.4 per cent.