Energy Supplier Discussion (formerly Bulb or Octopus)


Am curious as to why the restriction to these. Are they generally considered superior to other green energy suppliers? If so, on what basis?

(Simon Austin) #43

No particular reason, although Bulb and Octopus were both in the original title of the thread and do seem to consistently appear in discussions of ‘reasonably priced, but still relatively ecological’ suppliers.

We, too, almost boarded the same train, but then found Pure Planet almost by chance (they don’t appear on some of the comparison sites as they can’t be switched to automatically in some cases).

At the time we switched, they weren’t the cheapest, however we really liked the sound of their offering (quite Monzo-esque in our opinion; they even have an active community!). Since then, with the recent prices, they’ve even topped comparisons we’ve helped others with from a price perspective too!

Like I said, just a happy customer :slight_smile:


Anybody following the Outfox the Customer mess? Gone from one of the best providers offering the best rates to one of the worst and most expensive in a couple weeks.

From £1000 a year to £1500-2000 a year.


Deleting Facebook posts, blocking Twitter customers, flagging genuine 1 star reviews on TrustPilot, not answering the phone, dropping calls and stopping the online chat.


Reinstating canceled direct debits, charging £25 for cancelled debits, blocking switches to other suppliers whilst in credit, the list goes on…

From high 8 to 5.6 and dropping:

(Simon Austin) #45

One of the reasons we ‘kind of like’ (although not 100% as - from a purely selfish point of view - we’d much prefer that we had a fixed price!) Pure Planet is their ‘shared responsibility’ model.

Their charging model is:

  • cover our fixed costs (and margin)

    • via the monthly membership fee (basically the same as the daily standing charge from other companies)
  • pay our variable costs based on what you use

    • by charging only the cost price for electric / gas consumed

This seems - to me, a laymen - reasonably sustainable (provided they have sufficient customers to cover those fixed costs) and pretty fair (they’re not trying to make a mark-up on the energy supplied, simply passing on the cost).

That way, they’re not motivated to create crazy tariffs that ‘happen to lead the market right now’ to attract new customers; neither are they trying to create ‘elaborate fixed term offerings’ that attempt to predict the future pricing of these commodities.

Running a quick uSwitch comparison (for my region) shows Pure Planet is still top (for our consumption) - with the next-nearest competitors showing as:

  • Standing Charge

    • Pure Planet: 26.61p Electric + 26.61p Gas = 53.22p / day
    • Lumo: 32.09p Electric + 24.41p Gas = 56.50p / day
    • Green Network Energy: 15.00p Electric + 16.15p Gas = 31.15p / day
    • Octopus: 20.35p Electric + 16.00p Gas = 36.35p / day
      • Overall: GNE < Octopus < Pure Planet < Lumo
  • Unit Rate - Electric

    • Pure Planet: 12.900p / kWh
    • Lumo: 14.710p / kWh
    • Green Network Energy: 14.290p / kWh
    • Octopus: 13.920p / kWh
      • Overall: Pure Planet < Octopus < GNE < Lumo
  • Unit Rate - Gas

    • Pure Planet: 3.040p / kWh
    • Lumo: 3.480p / kWh
    • Green Network Energy: 3.370p / kWh
    • Octopus: 3.230p / kWh
      • Overall: Pure Planet < Octopus < GNE < Lumo
  • Discount

    • Pure Planet: £14.29 (per fuel for dual fuel customers)
    • Lumo: £71.43 (per fuel - requires smart meter)
    • Green Network Energy: £7.14 (per fuel for duel fuel customers)
    • Octopus: None
      • Overall: Octopus < GNE < Pure Planet < Lumo
      • Note: Higher is ‘better’ in this case

Total cost-wise, these were all pretty close - within £30 over the entire year, however they do serve to illustrate some of the points of difference depending on your circumstances and requirements:

  • the Pure Planet Unit Rate for both electric and gas is the cheapest in all of these examples (as you would hope if they’re simply passing on their cost price)

  • Green Network Energy and Octopus both offer competitive fixed costs - might be worth looking at if you genuinely have low consumption (although it does have to be ‘low low’ to work per my earlier post)

  • I don’t know anything about Lumo, but they’re offering quite a heavy discount for ‘smart meter installation’ - maybe some of this cost savings will come to other suppliers (eg. Pure Planet with their 'cover our fixed costs model) as they also rollout these devices?

    • Obviously this discount becomes less attractive (as a percentage of the total) as you consume more (as their Unit Rates are the most expensive), so this is unlikely to remain compelling if you have high consumption

It’s all pretty interesting how these different variables can be manipulated to tailor products to particular customers - and thankfully we have a deregulated market that allows this, so there should be something for everyone!

My advice: check and switch every year; it’s pretty painless these days; that said, I think we may be sticking with Pure Planet for a while - even if it doesn’t come ‘top top’ of the list (as we’re trying to fly the ‘green’ flag too).

Anyway, I’ll get back in my box now! :gift:


I am with bulb and have had no issues with them
They are very transparent with fees and price increases I have found
And the breakdown online is easy to use

(Jack) #47

I’m with Bulb. While their prices have gone up they’ve actually given a lot more information about why (Beast from the East causing gas levels to drop, unseasonably warm weather elsewhere in the world using up energy in air conditioning etc and the wholesale price shooting up as a result) so I’m happy to stay.

One thing which I think is really important which I haven’t really seen mentioned here is the support. I’ve had to ring Bulb twice (because Spark Energy were causing issues with the initial switch) and both times I was through to a person within 30 seconds.

After a few years with EDF I can tell you it’s a massive difference, with them I would be on hold for at least 20 minutes, usually closer to 40 before I got to start speaking to anyone.

They’re also pretty responsive on their community as well,

(Simon Austin) #48

It’s great to see folks pro-actively sharing their ‘happiness’ with these new-ish and innovative companies - regardless of who your ‘actual favourite’ is!

It just goes to show how much a little thought about the ‘customer experience’ and sometime small concessions to ‘sharing and transparency’ can make a real difference. (Hi, Monzo!)

I, too, have had many-a-run-in with some of the bigger providers (nPower and E.ON to name but a couple) - I can’t imagine that this thread would still be going (at least in a positive way, without degrading into a series of “you think that’s bad, wait until you hear my story” messages) if we were bound to only talking about the more traditional players…


How did People’s Energy do in comparison? I’ve just completed switching to them today. Just slightly cheaper than Pure Planet for me. I’ve noticed they plan to pay back 75% profits to customers too, which could be awesome next year.

12.73p electric
2.89p gas

My recent switching :neutral_face:

First Utility > Affect Energy > Bulb > Outfox > People’s Energy


I’ve gone to People’s Energy too - entirely based on price relative to other renewable providers.

They’ve just taken over my supply. Disappointingly, I found their quality and amount of communication during the switch process a bit lacklustre. Am also somewhat worried about the feasibility and sustainability of their profit sharing plans, but the ofgem safety net and no exit fee means there’s not much risk in giving them a try.

(Simon Austin) #51

People’s Energy were not on my radar, although I’m not sure why as their offering looks quite interesting - as I said before, it’s fascinating to see all these different models; nice to see companies innovating.

Will be interesting to see how their ‘profit share’ works out. If it truly is ‘profit’, then the model should be good (provided they have money for ‘longer term investment’ set aside somewhere).

Octopus (who are probably more similar to People’s Energy than ‘one of the big six’) seem to be shooting for around a 10% profit margin (from what I can see after a quick web trawl); so for every £10 you pay monthly you could be looking at a £9 rebate:

£10 per customer per month * 12 months * 10% profit margin * 75% profit share = £9 per customer per year

This equates to ‘almost a free month every year’ for their customers!

Happy Christmas! :christmas_tree:


I have been with bulb a few years, only noticed they now do how warm discount, I roughly use £20 for Gas & £80 electric, based on the Moneysavings link above I could save a max £129 with a fixed 12 month contract, but as I will get the home warm discount, which the other 3 suppliers dont who are doing £100 a month its not worth switching, as for the big 6 everyone beats them on everything :wink:


And heres my referal code :wink:


@phildawson @nitsuanomis Positive news re People’s Energy


Hope it’s ok to post here, but I have a double referral week for Bulb: if anyone wants to switch with this link we both get £100 credit!

(Colin Robinson) #56

@gordonjb There’s a referral wiki here:
Referral Wiki: Post/Find Here


I’ve been with Bulb for a while now, haven’t had any issues and their communication is really good! They send updates well in advance for any changes and I find their customer service really solid. Had a few issues with moving house some time ago but it was swiftly resolved. :muscle:

Since it’s my “Bulbiversary” this week (lol :man_shrugging:), anyone who signs up and switches using my code before Wednesday 19th gets £100 (double what it is normally). Here’s the link:

(Allie) #58

No surprise. It always seemed shady and too good to be true to me.


It was ace at the start the rates were the wholesale and membership was almost nothing and a yearly cost of £750 for me! With the repeated increases to rates and membership that would have been finally £1550 if I’d stuck with them for 2019. They plan a 28p per fuel standing charge in Jan, which I think might also be illegal based on the new standing rates cap of £177 for duel 2019. 28p * 2 * 365 which is £204.40 before even paying for any fuel used.

I’ve been watching the Energy Switches that they display on their site, it used to say like 10 left. Now it’s lucky to go down to 97 from 100. So a couple of people are still being conned unfortunately.

People’s energy £1140 based on the exactly the same yearly usage.

(Shreyas Zanpure) #60

I keep switching. I was with OVO for a few years because they pay you interest on your credit, but they got too expensive. Currently with E.ON for the last couple of years because they are offering the best tariff for my needs


I had so many problems with E.ON, I couldn’t switch fast enough.
My tariff with Octopus may not be the cheapest, but the service is in another league (in my experience!).

You can get away with it though, as long as you don’t have any ‘real’ issues.

Funnily enough, the referral rewards I’ve had this year have made Octopus significantly cheaper than any other tariff, so generous referral programmes definitely help!