The UK energy market has been ruled for years by the Big 6, but in the last decade, several outstanding gas & electricity suppliers with increasing popularity, have entered the UK energy market. Pure Planet is one of these companies, which has been increasing its popularity among clients due to precise and easy-to-understand bills, excellent customer service, an easy-to-use platform, and cheap tariffs.
Figure 1: Pure Planet Logo – Source: Pure Planet Energy
While the popularity of Pure Planet grew rapidly in the last few years, this company was deeply affected by the UK energy crisis. In this article, you will learn more about the history of the company, what problems it faced, why it went bust, and what will happen with existing customers.
Who is Pure Planet?
Since 2014, Matthew Hirst was a hardworking man in the energy industry, becoming the CEO of ESG, a company providing energy management and billing software platforms for many countries. The vision of Matthew Hirst was to create an electrical supplier fully operating with digital bills and managed via web and mobile apps.
In 2015, Matthew Hirst founded Tulip Energy Supply Limited. This company was designed to be exactly his dream, a UK energy supplier which could modernize the energy approach for customers, reducing paper bills by replacing them with digital bills and allowing customers to manage their energy account online, reducing paper waste.
A few years later, in 2017, Tulip Energy Supplier Limited, was renamed Pure Planet Limited. That year, Pure Planet Limited took a £10 million loan from BP, giving 24% of the company to BP. With this loan Pure Planet Limited was on its way to finally become an energy supplier in the UK, selling power and gas to citizens for a cheap price.
Figure 2: Pure Planet prices compared to the Big 6 – Source: Pure Planet
Even though Pure Planet Limited was founded to be an energy supplier in the UK, it was not until BP owned 24% of the company that they started operating as such. Pure Planet did not generate its energy nor did they have a contract to buy it from a generator, but since BP could buy the energy on behalf of Pure Planet Limited, the company was finally able to operate as an energy supplier.
With dedicated customer service, quality software for billings, and a cheap solution for green energy, Pure Planet rapidly grew in the UK energy market. By 2019, Pure Planet was already delivering electricity to nearly 100,000 customers. Since that date, the company grew to become one of the best energy suppliers in the UK, according to many review sites and customer surveys, supplying electricity & gas to around 235,000 customers in 2021.
Pure Planet Company Problems
While Pure Planet Limited had the honest mission of selling renewable energy to its customers at affordable prices, the company had its problems and limitations. All of these problems, collided in 2021, making Pure Planet Limited go bust, leaving more than 235,000 customers without a supplier.
One major problem causing the downfall of Pure Planet Limited is that the company never invested in generating its renewable energy. Instead of generating green energy, Pure Planet sought to buy renewable energy from renewable energy generators backed by REGO. While this ensured the company was buying green energy, it did not mean they generated it.
A secondary problem for Pure Planet Limited was that the company was not able to buy its energy. Since Pure Planet never got the contract to buy energy directly from the generators, it had to rely on the support of BP to buy green energy on its behalf. This lack of autonomy became a pillar in the downfall of the company in 2021.
Finally and in conjunction with the other two problems, Pure Planet Limited did not have enough strength and autonomy as an electricity supplier to withstand the 2021 UK energy crisis caused by the drastic price increase of energy, due to the rising cost for liquefied natural gas.
Figure 3: UK Energy Firms going bust since 1 September 2021 – Source BBC
Because of all of these problems and the fact that Pure Planet was already losing money due to the energy crisis and it could generate even larger losses in the future, BP withdrew its support on 13 October 2021. Since Pure Planet could not buy green energy nor generate its own, with the decision of BP, the company finally went bust.
Pure Planet Switch To Shell Energy
Since 13 October 2021, Pure Planet Limited ceased trading on the UK energy market and stopped supplying power to its customers. While this was worrisome, it did not mean that the customers of the company stopped receiving gas or electricity, since both services are backed by the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem), the UK gas and energy regulator.
After Pure Planet went bankrupt the UK energy market, Ofgem marked Shell Energy as the new gas & electricity supplier for Pure Planet existing customers starting on 17 October 2021.
Does Pure Planet Still Offer Plans & Pricing?
Since Pure Planet went bust on 13 October 2021, the company is not taking in any more customers, meaning that it is not offering plans or pricing. Before the company went bust, Pure Planet offered cheap tariffs for gas and energy, considered as one of the 10 cheapest companies in the UK.
Figure 4: Pure Planet Green Fixed Tariffs for Electricity & Gas on 2020 – Source: Green Planet
Pure Planet, offered 100% renewable energy for its customers. Considering the typical gas & energy usage by UK customers regarding Ofgem, Pure Planet Limited customers paid on average £858 a year for dual fuel, meaning that was the cost for the bills for customers with both electricity & gas service.
What Happens With Existing Customers Now?
Since Pure Planet went bust, Ofgem announced Shell Energy to be the new electricity supplier for existing customers of the company. The transfer process began on 17 October 2021.
During the whole transfer process, no customer of Pure Planet is going to have an interruption to their gas or electricity supply.
If you had a credit balance with Pure Planet, it will be protected and carried onto your new Shell Energy account. While the process has been going for several months, it is not yet complete, meaning that if you do not appear yet on the Shell Energy system, there is no need to worry. Shell Energy is working to receive around 500,000 new customers coming from other companies, which makes the process relatively slow.
So, what do you have to do during the energy supplier transfer? You should do two things as an existing customer of Pure Planet. The first thing is to wait until Shell Energy contacts you since the process is still going. Secondly, you have to read your meter around Monday 3 January 2022. However, Shell Energy will contact you with the specifics for the day and hour of the reading that you should provide.
Pure Planet Customer Reviews
Pure Planet was considered one of the best and cheapest renewable energy suppliers in the UK. This company was listed as the second-best small company in the UK and the best energy supplier according to the Sunday Times. So, even though reviewers recognized the company as one of the best, what did customers actually think about it?
In TrustPilot, Pure Planet received reviews from a little under 21,000 of its customers. On this site, the company got an overall score of 4.5/5, being considered as an excellent supplier by 76% of its customers, and a great supplier by 13% of them. Only 9% of the customers thought that the company was average, poor, or bad as a gas & electricity supplier.
In Which?, Pure Planet was listed as the 16th best company in the UK energy market. This company got a 74% overall score from surveys taken place on the platform. Customers of the company rated Pure Planet with 5/5 starts regarding their Bill accuracy and gave them 4/5 starts on Bill clarity and Value for Money. Regarding this, Pure Planet was considered one of the best electricity suppliers by its customers.
How Green Is Shell Energy’s Energy Compared to Pure Planet Energy?
Pure Planet advertised itself as a company supplying its customers with 100% renewable energy. The company had a fuel mix comprised of 88% wind energy, 11% hydro energy, and 1% solar energy. This fuel mix is much greener than the UK average, which only generates 42% of its energy from renewable sources, but, how does it compare to Shell Energy, your new electricity supplier?
Figure 5: Shell Energy Fuel Mix 2019 – 2020 report for Great Britain – Source: Shell Energy
Lucky news for green energy enthusiasts switching to Shell Energy from Pure Planet, this company delivers 100% renewable energy to its customers. The company acquires REGO certificates with the following fuel mix: 56% wind energy, 21% solar energy, 11% biomass, 9% hydro energy, 2% landfill gas, and 0.3% biogas.
Verdict on Pure Planet
Pure Planet, was born as the dream of Matthew Hirst to create an energy supplier delivering 100% renewable energy with paperless bills and an easy-to-use platform for customers. This company aimed to deliver clear and precise bills, allowing customers to enjoy the value of their money.
The company had one of the best energy rates in the UK, with average yearly bills of £858 for dual fuel customers. While the company had a growing popularity and aimed to become one of the best electricity suppliers in the UK, Pure Planet Limited ceased trading on 13 October 2021.
Since Pure Planet went bust, Shell Energy was chosen by Ofgem as the new electricity supplier for existing customers. While this company also delivers 100% renewable energy, it is for you to decide if you stick with it as your new supplier, or switch to another one after the transfer is complete.