For many, choosing to only use green electricity and gas comes at a higher cost than normal energy, so to do so is often a moral choice rather than a financial one. A new Bristol-based startup offering 100% renewable energy is looking to change all that.
Pure Planet is a new digital-first energy company that is introducing an innovative way of paying for your energy – a membership model where you pay a monthly fee and get the energy at the same cost as Pure Planet pays the wholesaler for it.
“We offer renewable power for 20% less than the cost of polluting energy”
It’s a truly revolutionary idea that is turning how people look at the renewable energy market on its head. As co-founder Steven Day, tells us “the thing that is striking a chord with a lot of people is that we offer renewable power for 20% less than the cost of polluting energy.”
Steven (pictured left) tells us it was an idea that had been brewing for a few years in the mind of the team. They had previously worked together founding Virgin Mobile and went on to run Orange, T-Mobile and create EE, and they knew they wanted to turn their talents to fixing how the energy market works.
Andrew Ralston, Pure Planet’s co-founder and chief executive, explains what they have achieved with Pure Planet: “From now on, there is no excuse not to choose renewable energy. It’s now cheaper, and much better value than the alternative. And it doesn’t pollute the environment, it’s better for us all and better for the planet. By joining Pure Planet, you can cut your household’s carbon footprint in half and save money.”
Pure Planet is also embracing the digital age and offering their services and billing almost exclusively through an AI-powered app and website. And using social monitoring they can check people are happy with their service by their responses on social media.
One of the problems Pure Planet wanted to fix was the poor customer service often associated with energy firms. With Pure Planet you don’t have to hang around on the phone waiting in a queue or trying to remember the correct phonetic alphabet word to ensure your postcode is being recorded correctly, you can do it all via the app using PurePlanet’s chatbot WattBot (pictured right). It can answer the usual customer queries using artificial intelligence drawing on Pure Planet’s team of energy experts.
As Steven says “The world is becoming digital. You can get through to a person using Pure Planet if you want to, but most people don’t feel the need to talk to people nowadays and are happy to use apps to deal with day to day billing and services – when was the last time you spoke to someone on the Apple app store, for example?”
South West collaboration
To help create these services, Pure Planet didn’t need to look far. The website and apps for Pure Planet were developed by Bath-Based Rocketmakers. CEO Richard Godfrey tells us “It was a perfect fit for Rocketmakers. A local startup with a huge vision to fundamentally disrupt the energy market by providing better value, better sustainability and a more community oriented approach, all from a team which continually demonstrated a genuine passion for their vision.”
Steven tells us they chose Rocketmakers as they wanted a personal service, local to them, who could help as the business grows, not just at the setup. He adds, “As a firm they have been great. They really took the time to get under our skin to understand us. This is important as it’s at the start when the DNA of your company is set. And they weren’t passive in this process – they have some very bright people who have contributed to what we are.”
“There’s a great tech-savvy and modern community in the south west to draw on”
In fact Steven tells us he is impressed by the Bristol and Bath region’s tech community as a whole: “It feels like it’s booming and vibrant, and above all, confident. There’s lots of good people here which is reassuring. It’s like a well-kept secret from London – we have access to some great people and companies away from the frenzy of the capital. There’s a great tech-savvy and modern community in the south west to draw on which feels very relevant for a new digital energy brand.”
Pure Planet is calling Bristol’s co-working hub DeskLodge its home. Thanh Quan-Nicholls Desklodge’s regional director (pictured right) says, “We love having one of the most innovative and disruptive companies in the energy market at DeskLodge – they are going to be huge!” This respect goes both ways. Steven says “DeskLodge is a microcosm of the South West in many ways – they have their own mini tech cluster to draw on. It’s a fun non-pretentious place and hosts some great events.”
Thanks to Steven for taking time out of his busy schedule to chat to us. You can see more and sign up for the service at the Pure-planet website or by downloading the iOS
or Android app. You can also keep up with the energy campaigns the company is getting involved with by following them on Twitter here: @joinpureplanet