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The Parish Buying Energy Basket – current energy market turbulence

How has being in the basket protected my church?

The reason why a basket represents a good energy option for churches has been demonstrated by the challenges with the energy market over the last 12 months. Rather than being subjected to significant price swings, we purchase the energy from the wholesale markets over a 12 month period, and in advance of the basket year which starts on 1 October each year.

This enables us to reduce significantly the impact of any short term price increases. For those in the 21/22 energy basket we estimate this strategy has reduced the cost of energy to parishes by at least £2 million, and potentially as much as £5 million compared with a range of suppliers, for the year ahead.

Some of the companies currently struggling to survive have made price promises to their customers, but have not secured these prices in the wholesale market. As a result they are buying power and gas at prices higher than they are selling it.

Why have my prices gone up this year?

The global pandemic has played an important role in the increase of costs to the wholesale market, impacting plant maintenance for instance. Other factors which have been featured in the media, such as a fire affecting the electricity supply from France, have added to the upward pressure on costs.

Wholesale Electricity prices have risen approximately 300% since August 2020 and Wholesale Gas prices approximately 100%. Operational and environmental costs of suppliers have also increased. Our electricity is 100% generated from UK renewable sources.

Pricing varies according to the size of your account, but we are pleased that our basket customers have been protected from these huge increases; even though most churches do have increased charges, it is a lot less than if they were out of the basket and looking for a fixed term contract.

Please see below graphs showing wholesale gas and electricity prices from 01/09/2020 up to and including 20/09/2021.

 The blue line is the day ahead price, while the orange line shows the 12 month average:

Gas

Electricity

Who can join the Basket?

Market turbulence in the energy markets has resulted in unstable wholesale energy prices. Energy companies have generally ceased to offer fixed terms contracts.

What you can do – you can supply your current electricity or gas details here and our Customer Service will seek a quotation for you for a new interim contract for you starting after 1st January 2022.  Our standard quotation for green electricity and natural gas will be for a contract ending at the end of September 2022, when you will be able to enter the Energy Basket.

When you enter the Energy Basket, you will enjoy all its benefits - see https://www.parishbuying.org.uk/categories/energy/energy-basket

What do I do if my present supplier goes bust?

See the advice on Ofgem here. Churches have business accounts so if they are in credit with the supplier – unlike consumers – their credit balance is not protected. In light of this, treasurers would be well advised to ensure that their accounts are not in credit. 

Click here to read the frequently asked questions.