Announcing Members' rate increase to variable tariff for electricity and gas

Announcing Members' rate increase to variable tariff for electricity and gas

Hi everyone, 

We’ve announced an increase to our 100% Green Variable tariff Members’ rates for gas and electricity, and wanted to give you more information here in the Community. 

Our variable rates - that’s the pence you pay per kWh of energy - are increasing in all regions, for electricity and gas. 
There’s no change to our Membership fee (standing charge). 

We’re letting our Members know four weeks in advance, to give you time to plan. 

When do the new rates take effect?

The change to our variable rate for electricity and gas is effective from 22 June 2021 for all Members currently on the variable tariff. 

New Members joining us from today - 24 May 2021 - will be quoted and join at the new rates. 

Existing Members viewing ‘change tariff’ will see and be quoted at the new rates from today, 24 May 2021. 

Existing Members looking to renew their tariff, or roll-off onto our Variable, will see and be quoted at the new rates from today, 24 May 2021.

What are the new rates?

Members’ rates for our 100% Green Variable tariff

For a typical dual fuel Member using the Ofgem average of 2,900kWh of electricity and 12,000kWh of gas a year, the increase is 9.3%, or £93 a year.

All our Members on our variable tariff will get an email over the next few days with the details about how their annual energy cost is affected.

We’re not changing any Direct Debits.

Why are we changing our prices?

Energy prices have shot up over the last 12 months - and have now reached record levels. 

We know no-one likes a tariff increase, but wholesale gas prices are at their highest for three years; and electricity prices have reached record peaks.  

Concerns about the economy, and the impact of COVID-19, kept prices low throughout 2020. However, as the vaccine rollout continues, the expectation of increasing demand for energy has been reflected in prices.

You can read more about the wholesale energy market in our latest blog, which we’ve also summarised here in the community. 

Why do different regions of the UK have different rates?

The difference in the cost across each geographical region is down to the cost of transporting gas and electricity to your home. 

The costs are determined and applied by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and we pass these on at cost.
We don’t make money on the transport costs of getting energy to your home.

When did we last put up our prices for our variable rate?

Our last increase to the variable tariff was announced in January 2021, for electricity and gas.

Will prices change again in the future?

With our variable tariff, our prices can go down as well as up. If prices go down we’ll pass them on to Members immediately.

How does the Pure Planet tariff work?

For variable tariff Members, the Members’ rate is the per kilowatt (kWh) unit rate. It’s a pass through rate, based on wholesale costs, where you pay what we pay for your energy. There’s zero markup. 

Our Membership fee is the standing charge. It’s the daily rate calculated and collected in 12 monthly installments each year. It covers: Your meter maintenance, our people costs, operating and systems costs, our low profit margin and VAT. 

You can read more detail about that in our FAQs.

Will Direct Debit payments change?

No. We aren’t making any change to your Direct Debit payments as a result of this price change. We do regularly review our Members’ accounts and will be in touch if we need to adjust your payments to get you back on track. 

Where do I view my tariff information?

In your Pure Planet app or web account, choose Menu > Tariff.

I joined Pure Planet on the variable tariff with Price Protection. When do the rates increase for me?

Our Price Protection gives people switching to Pure Planet’s variable tariff more reassurance. It means you’re protected from the price increase for two months.

This price change will take effect on the day you come off your Price Protection tariff, or 22 June, whichever is later.

There’s more information about the wholesale energy market on our blog. 

Got any questions? Let’s talk about them below.

You may also like: Guide to the Pure Planet tariffs


96 replies

Quite an increase. Based on my last full year it appears to be an increase of £145.68 for gas and £136.03 for electricity. A total increase of £281.71. My cost in my last full year was £990.56 excluding membership fees. If my maths is right that is a 28.44% increase. For some that is going to be quite a hit. Well it is for me as my income never goes up, 

Perhaps members here knitting jumpers could come to the fore and PP sets up a shop!

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

WOWSA! Eye watering! 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

I’m unsurprised (is that a word?)

This was absolutely inevitable, the gap between the fixed and variable tariffs was unsustainable, just off to update my spreadsheet…

Sheet updated, as per usual E&OE (in other words I may have messed up)

Increase from previous variable averaged across all regions and the new average cost (cost of all regions divided by the number of regions) is as follows:

Low  User up 7.9%  from £695 to  £754
Med  User up 8.6%  from £994 to  £1087
High User up 9.0%  from £1355 to  £1490

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

The membership fee on the variable tariff is higher than the fixed tariff fee. Currently standing at £8.00/fuel, the fixed tariff is £6.67.

Why not lower it to match, I can’t see the justification for it being higher, but on the other hand just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason. 

Is there a reason it’s more expensive?

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

The membership fee on the variable tariff is higher than the fixed tariff fee. Currently standing at £8.00/fuel, the fixed tariff is £6.67.

Why not lower it to match, I can’t see the justification for it being higher, but on the other hand just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason. 

Is there a reason it’s more expensive?

Good question @woz 👍

@woz There will be slightly less work as with a fixed tariff nothing is done for a year but a variable one means work to be done for each member every time there is a change. I assume it is also number dependant in that the more members PP has the more it can be kept low for this is in effect PP’s income.

These sort of increases will generate some flack no doubt from disgruntled persons saying they have been mislead (they haven’t) or it’s a rip off and they will complain here thinking this is PP. I could be wrong!

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Just got my email, and it’s smashing to see the current rate, then what it will increase to per unit, and even informing me of the difference. I know we raised this a while back. Much clearer emails now 👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏👏

I have just sought some comparisons with interesting results and PP comes out OK

Octopus - £1382.76 fixed 2 years 

Uswitch - the answer was “No savings if you change now, your current plan must be pretty good”

Compare the market: Scottish Power - 1340.40 variable 

PP - £1396.94 currently newly published variable tariff, but I have included a membership fee of £16  pm in PP’s figure. If I fixed the tariff assuming the membership is £6.67 pm per fuel then the charge drops to £1365.02

Octopus does not look too bad as the fix is 2 years.

Uswitch is flattering for PP

Scottish Power? OK the cheapest but I hear so many bad things about them it’s a no from me.

I have until mid July to make a decision. Perhaps PP could be bold enough to offer a 2 year fix?! But then at what level?!

No doubt down the line the direct debit payments will be going up.

@djcrtoye They will but at least we know in advance and more important now in view of the large increases ahead. I have not tried every comparison site but I am guessing I will get similar responses. As I type I have just had an email from Compare the Market to say they have new lower quote that will save me £26 per annum. Still with Scottish Power. Save £26 p.a. To go with Scottish Power?!!

PP did not appear in the comparison sites.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

@woz There will be slightly less work as with a fixed tariff nothing is done for a year but a variable one means work to be done for each member every time there is a change. 

Members Fee (MF) £8.00 variable v £6.67 Fixed.

I was sort of thinking the same: -

PP procured the energy with lower MF x potential fixed tariff takeup working out the margins v the more labour intensive variables in the variable.

I’m probably spouting rubbish...but jut a thought.

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Good to know this in plenty of advance. Personally I would still ratehr stay with PP, even at a slightly higher rate, when I know they are planet conscious and I also prefer the way the company is run with the wonderful like minded community. Better than paying into big corporatiotions, stuck on phonelines for indeterminate lengths of time where you are purely a customer number.

I do have 2 questions though. Merseyside is in the NW region so why is it coupled with North Wales? Not that I have anything against North Wales in the slightest, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I realise there is going to be such a simple explanation that I will need to go and sit in the corner with my dunces hat on.

The other question is why are different regions paying different rates? I’m sure this has probably been explained in the past too but I either didn’t read it properly or I’m just plain dozy.

Userlevel 7
Badge +10

Good to know this in plenty of advance. Personally I would still ratehr stay with PP, even at a slightly higher rate, when I know they are planet conscious and I also prefer the way the company is run with the wonderful like minded community. Better than paying into big corporatiotions, stuck on phonelines for indeterminate lengths of time where you are purely a customer number.

Perfectly put, our Nanny 👍👏👏👏👏👏👏👏👏

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

Good to know this in plenty of advance. Personally I would still ratehr stay with PP, even at a slightly higher rate, when I know they are planet conscious and I also prefer the way the company is run with the wonderful like minded community. Better than paying into big corporatiotions, stuck on phonelines for indeterminate lengths of time where you are purely a customer number.

I do have 2 questions though. Merseyside is in the NW region so why is it coupled with North Wales? Not that I have anything against North Wales in the slightest, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I realise there is going to be such a simple explanation that I will need to go and sit in the corner with my dunces hat on.

The other question is why are different regions paying different rates? I’m sure this has probably been explained in the past too but I either didn’t read it properly or I’m just plain dozy.

Why do different regions of the UK have different rates? (from above dove above)

The difference in the cost across each geographical region is down to the cost of transporting gas and electricity to your home. 

The costs are determined and applied by your Distribution Network Operator (DNO) and we pass these on at cost.
We don’t make money on the transport costs of getting energy to your home.

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

I see, thanks @Strutt G 

Userlevel 7
Badge +11

Good to know this in plenty of advance. Personally I would still ratehr stay with PP, even at a slightly higher rate, when I know they are planet conscious and I also prefer the way the company is run with the wonderful like minded community. Better than paying into big corporatiotions, stuck on phonelines for indeterminate lengths of time where you are purely a customer number.

I do have 2 questions though. Merseyside is in the NW region so why is it coupled with North Wales? Not that I have anything against North Wales in the slightest, it just doesn’t seem to make sense. I realise there is going to be such a simple explanation that I will need to go and sit in the corner with my dunces hat on.

The other question is why are different regions paying different rates? I’m sure this has probably been explained in the past too but I either didn’t read it properly or I’m just plain dozy.

@NannyOgg it’s a throwback from a time long ago (circa 1947/48 I think give or take) where the DNO borders were drawn and the country was divided into nationalised DNO regions which were an amalgamation of smaller local companies. The people and political distribution has since changed but those lines that were drawn have remained (I think? not sure if there have been minor changes?). Each DNO has to work out the cost of distribution for their entire area. So you could be faced with the situation of 2 properties metres apart both paying different rates for the same wires and pipes. (I think it’s called a cartel these days).

Userlevel 7
Badge +8

@NannyOgg

Merseyside is coupled with north Wales because many moons ago there were only a few companies which supplied our energy,  the company that supplied this region was known as 

MANWEB

Merseyside And North Wales Electricity Board 

But why it's so much more expensive is anyone's guess

 

 

 

Userlevel 7
Badge +3

Thanks @woz and @Duppy , it all makes sense now 😀

No doubt down the line the direct debit payments will be going up.

Hi @djcrtoye 

As the original post outlines, we are not going to increase everyone’s Direct Debit payments.

Will Direct Debit payments change?

No. We aren’t making any change to your Direct Debit payments as a result of this price change. We do regularly review our Members’ accounts and will be in touch if we need to adjust your payments to get you back on track. 

We carry out DD reviews every six months. If a Member is paying too much or too little to cover their energy usage, we’ll suggest changes to increase or reduce it.

And it does change!

I, for example, saw my DDs go up a few months after I first started leasing an EV. Then, about a year ago (at the start of the first lockdown) I saw my DDs go down as I was overpaying - due to not charging the EV v much given I wasn’t driving anywhere at the time.

This FAQ has a bit more info.

Hope that is helpful :thumbsup:

Badge +3

Just got my email, and it’s smashing to see the current rate, then what it will increase to per unit, and even informing me of the difference. I know we raised this a while back. Much clearer emails now 👍👍👍👏👏👏👏👏👏

How accurate is the information provided in your email though @Bev?

My annual gas usage in the last 12 months is 13320kWh, however. in my email PP forecast my gas usage to be only 10435kWh - PP’s estimate is 2885kwh less, which is a difference of nearly 22%!

My electricity estimate is not as bad, PP are still showing a figure which is less than my actual consumption, but this time the difference is 5%.

In reality my new annual projected cost is going to be much higher than what has been indicated in the email I received.

 

 

Hey @myauntie 

The figures in your email are based off the readings we’ve received for you so far, and your estimated consumption moving forward. It’s the same as the ‘estimated annual usage’ you’ll see on your monthly statements. :slight_smile:

The longer you’re on supply with us, the more accurate the estimated usage becomes. :thumbsup:  

 

 

Badge +3

Sorry @Nataly  - I’ve been with PP for 3 years, do my smart meters not send the information to PP automatically?

The figures in my monthly statements (which I used to calculate my consumption) have ‘Reading’ next to them. There was only one which had an ‘Estimate’ and PP confirmed there may have been an issue that month and the confirmed reading was then applied to my statement the following month.

I’m not sure why PP need to use estimates where actual readings are provided.

The membership fee on the variable tariff is higher than the fixed tariff fee. Currently standing at £8.00/fuel, the fixed tariff is £6.67.

Why not lower it to match, I can’t see the justification for it being higher, but on the other hand just because I can’t see it doesn’t mean there isn’t a reason. 

Is there a reason it’s more expensive?

Hey @woz 

This is a good question! @25 quid actually asked a similar Q earlier this month - @Marc’s full reply is here:thumbsup:

We understand it can be a bit confusing. To be able to compete with other suppliers’ fixed tariffs, we adjusted our Membership Fee through promotions with certain PCWs and through a lot of work from our finance team. 

On the other hand, due to the current market for Variable tariffs we’ve been able to keep our monthly Membership Fee consistent - at £8 per fuel. :slight_smile:

I have just received my reminder that my fixed contract expires in July inviting me to renew again. If I fix again the estimated total cost will be £1,540.22 pa compared to £1,121.15. An increase of £419.07 or 37.38%. That is quite some hike. The rates quoted are 18.3194 pkWh for electricity and 3.7149 pkWh for gas. This compares to 17.617 and 3.227 respectively if I don’t fix according to the table at the beginning of this post. Last year my overall total was £1169.18. Must start knitting.

Userlevel 7
Badge +9

I have just received my reminder that my fixed contract expires in July inviting me to renew again. If I fix again the estimated total cost will be £1,540.22 pa compared to £1,121.15. An increase of £419.07 or 37.38%. That is quite some hike. The rates quoted are 18.3194 pkWh for electricity and 3.7149 pkWh for gas. This compares to 17.617 and 3.227 respectively if I don’t fix according to the table at the beginning of this post. Last year my overall total was £1169.18. Must start knitting.

😡

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