People’s Energy transferred to British Gas: what should customers do?

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It is no longer possible to sign an energy contract with People’s Energy, as it has gone bust due to the ongoing rise in gas prices in 2021.  If you are currently – or better said, used to be – a customer with People’s Energy, your contract has been passed over to British Gas. Read on to find out what you should or should not do at this time, in order to ensure that everything goes smoothly.
Last update: August 2022

People’s Energy has Gone Bust

As as result of the UK energy crisis that is currently occurring, People’s Energy has unfortunately gone bust and is no longer trading. To help you navigate this crisis we prepared for you a guide on what to do if your energy supplier goes bust along with a page compiling all the information on the energy market crisis to ensure you stay updated on a daily basis.

When it comes to choosing a new energy supplier, UK consumers had an embarrassment of riches. With over 50 suppliers to choose from, the sheer variety could actually be daunting. But the current energy crisis is reshuffling the market and every supplier out there can be at risk, except maybe the “Big 6”.

People’s Energy were for some the breath of fresh air they needed putting people and the planet before profits. Sadly they are now gone and all customers have been transferred to British Gas.

What should People’s Energy customers do at this time?

If you used to be a customer with People’s Energy, whether for gas, electricity, or both, your contract is no longer active, and has been moved over to British Gas along with all of People’s Energy’s old clients. There is not much to be done on your side – our first piece of advice is not to worry!

What happened to People’s Energy?

Ofgem officially declared, on the 14th of September, that People’s Energy’s offers were no longer on the market. This is not a singular isolated incident, but rather is part of a wider context  of sharply rising wholesale gas prices.

The overall increase as of right now is set at 250%, which, combined with the price caps suppliers have to respect, has made it impossible for many energy firms to keep up their activity. People’s Energy was the 7th reported casualty of these circumstances, with the earliest case being reported as early as January.

Will my energy supply be interrupted?

Your most pressing question, understandably, is whether or not you will still be supplied with energy. While it may seem, if you have not yet been contacted by British Gas, like you are caught between two suppliers at the moment, the answer is definitely that yes, your household is still being supplied with energy.

Should I continue to pay People’s Energy?

Technically speaking, while People’s Energy does not exist anymore and is not providing you with  energy, you are still a customer there until British Gas, its replacement, contacts you.

Since you might have debts, or be owed money by People’s Energy, do not cancel your payment methods (such as direct debit, standing order, and direct payment). Instead, wait for British Gas to contact you, since they will be able to inform you on the way your debt, credit, and payment methods are to be dealt with.

Should I take a meter reading?

Yes, absolutely. This is all things considered the only thing that you really need to do besides wait for your new supplier to contact you. Taking a meter reading can be done manually, but also automatically if you have a smart meter. Having this information on hand when British Gas contacts you will help the transfer and account setup process go more smoothly.

If you have a smart meter and are worried that British Gas may not be one of the suppliers who usually deals in these automatic meters, don’t fret. Indeed, British Gas  technicians are equipped to read smart meters using its automatising function – and even if you decide to switch to another supplier later on, it can be good to know that even smart meters can be read manually. This should not be an obstacle or a worry for you.

What if I am in debt or credit to People’s Energy?

Whether you owe or are owed money in relation to your People’s Energy contract, you must first of all remember to wait for British Gas to contact you before you do anything else.

In terms of credit, British Gas has pledged to honour the sums you were owed by People’s Energy. Expect them to get back to you on this subject, as well as on the topic of what you may have owed your old supplier.

Will my bills go up with British Gas?

As of right now, all of People’s Energy’s old customers have been set to a “deemed” tariff by British Gas, their new supplier. Until you are contacted by them or their administrator, this is the plan you will receive energy under.

Depending on what the deemed tariff is, and on what you used to pay, your bills may or may not be higher than before. You will then be able to shop for cheaper deals with British Gas or another supplier, but only once you have been contacted.

Who chose British Gas as my new supplier?

Right now, you are not able to change suppliers until British Gas has contacted you: this change is currently not up to you, and has been applied in bulk to all People’s Energy customers.

Ofgem, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets, has been calling the shots on who replaces who in terms of energy suppliers. The choices are based on which suppliers are willing and able to take on such a large amount of new customers at once.

So far, British Gas has taken over accounts from Simplicity Energy, MoneyPlus Energy and PFP Energy, with People’s Energy being the latest transfer. People’s Energy alone represents an additional 351,000 customers, 1000 of those being non-domestic.

When and how will British Gas contact me?

Since the main point to retain from this is that you will have to wait to be contacted before doing anything else, it’s important to know how and when British Gas, your new supplier, will contact you.

In terms of delay, you should not have to wait for too long before being contacted. However, remember that this change is recent and that the energy firm has a very large number of customers to deal with – so be patient, and remember that no matter what, the energy will be brought to your home as usual.

When they are able to, British Gas will contact you using your home address – make sure, if you are in the process of moving home, that your addresses are linked and that they will know how to contact you after the move.

Can I switch suppliers right now?

The short answer is no – you must wait, like all affected customers, until your new supplier contacts you, even if you are planning on leaving them immediately after.

Do I have to remain with British Gas now that People’s Energy has stopped trading?

Temporarily, yes – you have been assigned a new supplier for a reason, and you will have to wait before you can switch. However, you are free to shop for energy  deals elsewhere (as well as within British Gas’s offers) once you have been properly and officially contacted.

I am in the process of switching suppliers already – what now?

Again, as a customer, there is nothing in particular to be done in this case. Make sure you have initiated the switch properly, and that you have the appropriate information and documents such as meter readings on hand if needed, and the process will go as planned.

British Gas tariffs: what are my choices?

Once you have been contacted and are free to choose a contract other than the “deemed” contract that has been automatically assigned to you, you may want to stay with British Gas out of convenience. Whatever your preferences are and whatever your budget is set at, there is a high chance you’ll find something you like in the wide range of choices offered by  British Gas. Read on to find out more about the details.

British Gas average annual total tariff costs

The following are the average total annual costs for the most popular British Gas tariffs. These charges suppose that the household has a standard meter and the rates are listed as dual fuel packages, but each gas and electricity tariff is also sold separately!

Below you can find the cost information associated with these tariffs.


Plan name Tariff type Is the tariff live? Average electricity annual cost (£/year) Average gas annual cost (£/year) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit fees (£/fuel) Green tariff**
/ Standard Variable £ 1,274.92* £ 1,481.07* £ 2,755.99* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Fixed
12 months
£ 1,274.92* £ 1,481.07* £ 2,755.99* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Fixed
24 months
£ 1,087.49* £ 1,481.07* £ 2,568.56* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Green
Fixed 12
£ 1,298.93* £ 1,505.09* £ 2,804.02* £ 75.00 ✔️
/ Green
Fixed 24
£ 1,298.93* £ 1,505.09* £ $UK_NRJ_BG_DF_GF24_annualc$* £ 75.00 ✔️
/ Prepayment Variable £ 1,298.93* £ 1,505.09* £ 2,804.02* £ 75.00 ✖️

* Prices displayed are national averages, call us to find your local tariff. All live tariffs are updated weekly.
* Based on Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


British Gas Variable Rate Tariffs

British Gas offers only one variable tariff at the moment, which is the standard variable tariff. This signifies, as mentioned earlier, that prices on this tariff can rise or fall almost daily to adjust to the running cost of energy in the UK. This variable tariff is less stable because prices can rise or fall frequently, but there are no contract or exit fees, so customers can change their tariff plan at any time without paying a penalty.

The costs associated with this tariff can be seen here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff**
/ Standard Variable Electricity 42.01 p* 38.67 p* £ 1,274.92* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Standard Variable Gas 31.85 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,481.07* £ 75.00 ✖️

* Prices displayed are national averages, call us to find your local tariff. All live tariffs are updated weekly.
* Based on Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


British Gas Fixed Rate Tariffs

British Gas offers 4 separate fixed rate tariff plans that are each different in unique ways in order to meet the wants of as many different types of customers as possible.

The pricing on these tariffs can be seen here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff**
/ Fixed
12 months
Electricity 42.01 p* 38.67 p* £ 1,274.92* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Fixed
24 months
Electricity 42.01 p* 32.21 p* £ 1,087.49* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Green
Fixed 12
Electricity 48.59 p* 38.67 p* £ 1,298.93* £ 75.00 ✔️
/ Green
Fixed 24
Electricity 48.59 p* 38.67 p* £ 1,298.93* £ 75.00 ✔️
/ Fixed
12 months
Gas 31.85 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,481.07* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Fixed
24 months
Gas 31.85 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,481.07* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Green
Fixed 12
Gas 38.42 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,505.09* £ 75.00 ✔️
/ Green
Fixed 24
Gas 38.42 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,505.09* £ 75.00 ✔️

* Prices displayed are national averages, call us to find your local tariff. All live tariffs are updated weekly.
* Based on Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


British Gas Prepaid Tariffs

In addition to the variable and fixed tariffs, British Gas also offers a prepaid tariff where you can top up as much energy as you want to pay for. The unit prices for this tariff plan, similar to the variable tariffs, are not fixed, so the cost of this tariff can increase or decrease if the cost of energy in the UK rises or falls.

Costs associated with this tariff plan can be seen here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Unit rate cost (p/kWh) Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff**
/ Prepayment Variable Electricity 48.59 p* 38.67 p* £ 1,298.93* £ 75.00 ✖️
/ Prepayment Variable Gas 38.42 p* 11.37 p* £ 1,505.09* £ 75.00 ✖️

* Prices displayed are national averages, call us to find your local tariff. All live tariffs are updated weekly.
* Based on Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
** A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.
Rates are inclusive of VAT at 5%.


British Gas Economy 7 Tariffs

British Gas offers a range of E7 tariffs targeted at customers who have Economy 7 meters in their homes.

As previously mentioned, these tariffs have two distinct tariffs, one for peak consumption periods and one for off-peak periods.

The prices for these tariffs can be viewed here:


Plan name Tariff type Type of fuel Is the tariff live? Standing charge (p/day) Day Rate (p/kWh)* Night Rate (p/kWh)p* Average total annual cost (£/year) Exit cost (£/fuel) Green tariff**
/ Economy 7 Standard Variable Economy 7 27.48 p* 22.42 p* 13.28 p* £ 639.30* £ 0.00 ✖️
/ Economy 7 Fixed 12 months Economy 7 30.78 p* 24.05 p* 12.41 p* £ 668.02* £ 40.00 ✖️
/ Economy 7 Fixed 24 months Economy 7 32.96 p* 37.52 p* 17.65 p* £ 966.40* £ 50.00 ✖️
/ Economy 7 Green fixed 12 Economy 7 33.00 p* 37.52 p* 17.65 p* £ 966.55* £ 50.00 ✔️
/ Economy 7 Green fixed 24 Economy 7 37.89 p* 37.52 p* 17.65 p* £ 984.41* £ 50.00 ✔️
/ Economy 7 Prepayment Economy 7 37.89 p* 37.52 p* 17.65 p* £ 984.41* £ 50.00 ✖️

* Prices displayed are national averages, call us to find your local tariff. All live tariffs are updated weekly.
* Based on Ofgem’s Typical Domestic Consumption Values (TDCV): 2,900.00 kWh of electricity and 12,000.00 kWh of gas per year.
* Assuming the average Economy 7 tariff user consumes around 58% of his energy on peak and 42% off peak.
** A tariff is green if for each kWh consumed a kWh of renewable energy is injected in the grid.


Who were People’s Energy? And what made them different from other small suppliers?

People’s Energy was founded in 2017 in Dalkeith, Midlothian. It was established with a view to being fundamentally different from other energy suppliers, especially powerhouses like the “Big 6 Energy suppliers”. Instead of being owned by huge parent companies (or overseas governments in the case of EDF), People’s Energy sold themselves as being “set up by the people, for the people”. The company had pledged 75% of its profits to distribution among its customers, which came in the form of credit on their accounts or reductions on their bills. Furthermore, they pledged to help “end fuel poverty forever” by providing cheap, renewable energy for all.

Sounds too good to be true, right?
People’s Energy

In the face of such bold claims, jaded energy consumers might reasonably wonder…

Were People’s Energy any good?

People’s Energy’s website and marketing materials made all the right noises. But did their practices (and prices) measure up?

As may be expected, the company had not yet begun to make a profit. Which is completely understandable in the energy sector where profits are razor-thin. However, the profit sharing page of their website demonstrated their commitment to transparency and informing customers as soon as they were able to do this.

They were also committed to doing social and environmental good. As well as being a living wage employer, they were also a Certified Social Enterprise and ORB (Organisation of Responsible Businesses) member.

But, let’s be honest. While these corporate social responsibility and renewability are important considerations when choosing an energy company, most energy consumers are looking to save money on their energy bills. These are however no longer available nor relevant, seeing as the supplier has since disappeared.

There still remain a number of other energy suppliers dedicated to giving customers a wide range of choices in terms of deals and tariffs,  which you can shop for once you have properly been transferred to British Gas, as an intermediary step at least.

People’s Energy fuel mix: How green were they?

People’s Energy prided themselves on delivering renewable electricity. But where did that green energy come from? And what do we know about their natural gas mix?

According to Electricityinfo.org, People’s Energy’s domestic electricity mix wasn’t quite 100% renewable. Although 97% comes from renewable sources, 3% comes from natural gas.

However, People’s Energy did have a 100% renewable electricity and gas tariff for business customers, with all gas coming from food and farm waste. They also promised that 100% renewable domestic fuel tariffs were in the pipeline, which could potentially have made them one of the greenest suppliers on the market today.

The company was also investing heavily in a renewable future, including buying their own wind turbines and helping members to set up a collective of renewable energy suppliers, generating their own energy through solar panels and domestic wind turbines and pumping it back into the grid.

Such a measure could conceivably have made the company even more renewable and reduce prices further for customers. This is a strategy that’s virtually identical to that of Tonik Energy, which unfortunately stopped trading even before People’s Energy, in October 2020.

People’s Energy reviews: What did their customers say?

People’s Energy had a lot of very encouraging sentiments on their website and it’s easy to see how they had amassed over 100,000 new customers in less than 3 years of trading. However, we can only get the big picture by looking at what their customers were saying about them online.

To do this, we’ll be looking at reviews left on their Trustpilot page.

Here, they have amassed 3,329 customer reviews and garnered an overall customer score of 4.4 out of 5 stars, making them an “excellent” rated supplier.

Of these 3,329 reviews:

  • 2,525 (76%) were “Excellent”
  • 321 (10%) were “Great”
  • 66 (2%) were “Average”
  • 62 (2%) were “Poor”
  • 356 (11%) were “Bad”

Positive customer reviews

Reviewers who had rated People’s Energy as either “Excellent” or great focused on helpful customer service (mentioning team members by name, which we find is always a good sign). Several also expressed happiness with the prices of their tariffs or how the company had identified that their accounts were in credit and delivered expedient refunds or credited the account.

We’ve cherry picked some quotes that will hopefully provide a flavour of reviewer’s positive comments and areas in which they were pleased:

  • “Query on tariff and account balance – both dealt with in a most excellent way… Not the usual delay tactics with refunding a large credit balance I have experienced with other providers”.
  • “Friendly webchat. It took only 2min to reduce direct debit as the account is in credit”.
  • “Kindly reduced my DD to help me out at the moment while I’m currently on benefits due to the restrictions with the pandemic… very courteous & kind”.
  • “… the change over from Scottish Power was seamless and I like paying £42 a month less for the same service!”

Negative customer reviews

However, like all energy suppliers, People’s Energy have had their fair share of negative comments. However, “Bad” and “Poor” reviews are outnumbered by 73% when compared with “Great” and “Excellent” reviews.

Negative reviews focused on slow responses to customer queries, complications when switching, and billing inaccuracies. People’s Energy have responded sincerely to both positive and negative. Trustpilot’s analytics reveal that they had responded to 64% of negative reviews and  would usually respond within 48 hours.

The following quotes indicate the most common grievances with People’s Energy:

  • “I inherited this energy provider after a recent house purchase. They wanted me to set a D/D for double the amount of energy I use. Attempts to contact them require a 15-30 minute wait on the phone; a three week wait for a reply to a message or email, or a 10/20 minute wait for live chat.”
  • “I am still trying to get the meter moved… This has massively impacted the schedule of my flat refurbishment and I am starting to lose money.”
  • “…I inherited this energy provider after a recent house purchase. They wanted me to set a D/D for double the amount of energy I use. Attempts to contact them require a 15-30 minute wait on the phone ; a three week wait for a reply to a message or email, or a 10/20 minute wait for live chat.”

How to contact People’s Energy

There are a number of ways in which People’s Energy could be contacted. The easiest of which was to use the Live Chat option on the company’s Contact Page. Alternatively, you could call them on 0131 285 5510. If your query was less urgent, you could email them at customerservices@peoplesenergy.co.uk. There was also a dedicated email for prepayment meter issues. This was prepaymenthelp@peoplesenergy.co.uk.

Staffed hours are 9.00am-7.45pm from Monday to Friday, and 9.00am – 4.45pm over the weekend.

How quickly did they respond?

An independent snapshot investigation in 2019 revealed an average wait time of 3 minutes and 17 seconds to get through to a customer service representative on the phone. Email responses took 3 days on average.

British Gas has contacted you, but you’d llike to shop elsewhere for a new supplier ? Let us handle your switch!

If you’ve been properly assigned to British Gas, but have doubts as to how relevant their deals are for you, get in touch with us today. Not only can we help you to find the best value tariff for your needs, we’ll also manage your switch to another supplier from end-to-end. So you can enjoy cheaper, more renewable energy without hassle or headaches.

Sound good?

Call us today on 0330 818 6223

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FAQ

Can I switch energy suppliers right now?

If British Gas has not yet contacted you to set up your account and let you know what "deemed" contract they have assigned you, do not switch suppliers yet. Once you have been contacted, you will be able to browse energy deal options with British Gas, or to switch to another energy supplier.

Which energy suppliers have gone down so far in 2021?

Due to the sharp increase in wholesale gas prices, multiple, usually smaller, energy suppliers have had to stop trading. Their customers are therefore being transferred to contracts with other more reliable suppliers. The now "old" suppliers affected by this crisis are as follows, in chronological order of disappearance: Simplicity Energy, Green Network Energy, Hub Energy, MoneyPlus Energy, PFP Energy, Utility Point, People's Energy, Green Supplier Limited, Avro Energy, Igloo, Symbio, Enstroga. These disappearances began in January and the list is likely to grow.

Updated on 8 Aug, 2022

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