Pure Planet was founded in 2016 by the same people that started Virgin Mobile. Their focus is to use technology to innovate in the energy sector and provide renewable energy at extremely low prices, so how are they doing?
They now have over 30,000 customers and have achieved the Which Recommended Provider award in 2020. They also have a pledge where they have zero markup on the energy you use, so you get energy at wholesale prices. This has helped them be the number one choice for many people when they’re looking for green energy at low prices.
Tariffs & Prices
Pure Planet offers two tariffs, a Fixed and Variable tariff. With the Fixed Tariff, you can lock in the price of your unit rates for gas and electric, as well as your membership fee. In order to lock in these rates, it does come with an exit fee as they buy your energy upfront to ensure you get the energy at a static price.
For those people wanting flexibility, their Variable tariff comes with no fixed contract or exit fees. With the variable tariff, there is the risk that your rates could increase, however, you’ll get 14 days notice of any increases, at which point as there are no exit fees and you can switch away if you can find a cheaper offer elsewhere.
Both of these tariffs are 100% green, with the electricity being 100% renewable and the gas being 100% carbon offset, so definitely doing your bit for the environment by going with this provider.
If you want switch to Pure Planet, then you can get a quote in 30 seconds here.
What is the Pure Planet membership fee?
Typically an energy provider has a standing connection charge for gas and electricity. This is a minimum charge that isn’t dependent on usage and is usually charged daily. Pure Planet offers a different model, where they just charge a membership fee instead of this standing charge, which is £8/month per fuel type, so £8/month for electric and £8/month for gas.
This membership fee is how Pure Planet makes money and enables them to offer the actual gas and electric at wholesale prices, saving a lot of customers money when they switch.
To determine whether the membership fee is value for money, we need to compare the membership fee to the regular standing charges of other providers. Bulb Energy has a standing charge of 23.1924p per day for electricity and 20.4435p for gas which over an average 30 day month is £13.09. Octopus Energy has an electricity standing charge of 18.963p per day and gas standing charge of 15.0885p per day, so total monthly charge of £10.22.
As you can see, that £16 dual fuel membership fee from Pure Planet isn’t the cheapest when compared to similar suppliers. However, where Pure Planet leads the way is in the price for the actual usage of gas and electric.
The fact that they offer energy usage for gas and electric at zero markup means you’ll struggle to find alternatives that will beat them on energy prices. This means those customers that have higher energy usage will more likely see a cheaper price overall as the fixed costs of the membership fee will make up a smaller proportion of the overall charge.
However, for those customers with minimal usage, it may be best to compare against alternative providers to make sure you’re getting the best value service.
If you select the Variable tariff, there aren’t any exit fees and you are free to leave at any time. For the Fixed tariff, there is an exit fee of £30 per fuel if you leave before the last 50 days of your contract.
When you start your switch over to Pure Planet, there’s also a 14-day cooling-off period if you change your mind, where you can cancel the switch and not incur any exit fees.
If you already have a smart meter you can switch to Pure Planet. If you have a first-generation SMETS1 smart meter, it will stop working when you make the switch, however there is currently work underway to fix this problem so they still work when you switch suppliers. This is hoping to be completed by the start of 2021, in the interim you’ll just have to provide manual readings for a month or two so if you’re going to save money it’ll probably be worth the one or two meter readings you’ll have to give manually.
If you currently have a second-generation SMETS2 smart meter, then when you switch everything will work perfectly after the switch. For those people without smart meters, Pure Planet are currently rolling them out to make the energy usage process as easy as possible.
If you’re wondering whether you should upgrade to a smart meter or not, there are quite a number of benefits. Firstly, you’ll never have to provider meter readings again as they’re automatically uploaded which is one hassle you can do without. You also get access to more accurate usage data so you can more actively reduce your costs, definitely a win in my eyes.
Pure Planet App – Customer Service
Pure Planet has taken a different approach to customer service and customer contact in general, where everything is done through an app. They don’t offer any phone numbers or email addresses to contact them, if you need to contact their customer service, you are first presented with an automated bot call “Wattbott” to try and answer any questions instantly. If you have a more complex query, you can request a callback or email from their human support team.
This gives them the ability to not need a large call centre, helping to save costs, allowing them to pass on those savings to you as a customer compared to other alternative providers.
For billing and account management, this is also done through the app and you are sent monthly email statements detailing your usage. There are currently plans in place to enhance the functionality of the app to show you real-time information on your usage so you can more effectively manage your consumption and reduce your costs further.
Opting for an app first customer service model has understandably resulted in some quite mixed reviews. There are some people that love the service, where they’ve described the switching process as seamless and highly recommend the supplier. However, there are others that aren’t fans of the limited human contact, which does appear to be aligned to those with more complex issues.
The app itself has 3.3/5 stars on the Google Store and 2.9/5 stars in the Apple Store, although they have over 13,000 customer reviews on Trustpilot with an average score of 4.6. So it definitely looks like the app is taking the brunt of the negativity, so you’ll have to make the call yourself if you’re happy to sacrifice direct human support for a cheaper service.
Alternatives and Verdict
Overall Pure Planet is a great energy supplier and they have creative ways to help deliver renewable energy to customers at very cheap prices. If you’re someone that is happy to use technology and doesn’t need to speak to someone directly in regard to customer service, then you can be rewarded with a cheaper price choosing this provider.
To get started with Pure Planet, get a quote here in 30 seconds.
For those people with high energy usage, Pure Planet could be the cheapest energy provider on the market through their zero markup energy pledge. However, if you have low energy usage or can restrict the bulk of your energy usage to specific off-peak times then some alternatives could be cheaper.
Octopus Energy is one alternative that is excellent for those that can restrict their energy consumption to off-peak, like those with electric vehicles. Read the Octopus Energy Review here to find out more.
Alternatively, read this post on the cheapest UK energy suppliers to make sure you get the cheapest deal for you.