It’s an exciting time to be on Team Clean. You may have heard about a wave of new entrant suppliers - Mongoose, Tonik and, most recently, Fischer - entering the market. Come on in guys, the water is… heated by renewable energy.
Although each one appears to have a slightly different focus, the ‘new renewables’ all seem to have adopted a simple, fresh approach. Fischer is prioritising simplicity with a single tariff and making sure their customers don’t have to “spend their time dealing with complex pricing structures”. They’ll be partnering with Danish energy giant Dong, who recently put their oil and gas assets up for sale to focus on renewables. Mongoose, on the other hand, will be majority owned by community energy groups. And finally, Tonik have a range of tariffs with the overarching goal of getting people to use less energy. All of which gets a big fist bump from Bulb.
We’re chuffed to hear new companies are entering the market with these kind of priorities. The more suppliers that move towards the Bulb model of a single, affordable and fairly priced renewable tariff, the better. To fix the problems we've seen in the energy industry, we think any new energy supplier should make things simple, renewable and fair.
When Hayden and Amit first decided to start a different kind of supplier in 2014, keeping things simple was an essential part of their mission. In fact - Bulb trivia alert - did you know that one of the first names we considered for Bulb was ‘Simple Energy’? We dodged a bullet there of course because we love Bulb.
But put it this way. Simplicity has always been close to our heart. It’s one of the reasons we were very concerned by the CMA report last year that proposed lifting the tariff cap. People don’t need more complicated options of tariffs with very little difference between them. The only benefit of multiple tariffs is befuddlement.
Being a renewable supplier was a no brainer for Bulb. Who would start a new supplier in the 21st century knowing what we know about the threats of climate change and the economic reality of rapidly reducing clean energy costs? It seems the new renewables agree. And that’s great news for the UK energy market.
But when we first launched our simple, affordable renewable tariff we encountered some healthy scepticism. Do people really care about whether their renewable energy is actually 100% or just green-ish? What we hear from our members is it’s incredibly important that their energy comes from independent suppliers here in the UK and it’s truly 100% renewable. There’s little point in buying renewable energy if the money you’re giving your supplier is funding the production of dirty fossil fuels in another part of the business.
Our single tariff is called Vari-Fair. And it does what it says on the tin. It's a variable tariff which we price in a fair way. Historically suppliers have been fast to increase prices and slow to decrease them. Which is as rubbish as it sounds and means that customers lose out. We believe suppliers should reflect the true cost of energy. So we watch the wholesale market closely and are quick to reduce prices when we can and protect our members from price increases for as long as possible.
The proof is in the pudding: last year we lowered prices five times and increased them once. We think when you wrap that up with market leading service - if our members want to talk about the price of energy they can get through to one of our magnificent energy specialists in a matter of seconds - you've got something to offer that's transparent and fair.
We’ve always been very clear: the more 100% renewable suppliers, the merrier. We look forward to hearing a lot more from the new renewables over the coming months. But, if they start using a seriously large amount of emojis in their emails, well, we might have to have a word.