Co-operative Energy offers energy supply with a difference. Although it is a national business, the company has no shareholders, and is run entirely for the benefit of its customers – or ‘members’. Co-operative Energy is part of the MidCounties co-operative, the third largest scheme in the country, and currently boasts over 430,000 members across the UK. The country’s largest co-op is The Co-operative Group, owners of The Co-operative Insurance Society, The Co-operative Bank, and The Co-operative Food, a popular chain of small high street supermarkets. However, the concept isn’t confined to these shores alone – since its beginnings in the early nineteenth century, the co-operative movement has spread across the globe, and currently boasts over 700 million members in more than 100 different countries.
Although the company is driven by the needs of its members, Co-operative Energy is also committed to becoming as environmentally friendly as possible. The company currently aims to reduce its carbon footprint to half the national average, and is a great investor in renewable energy. Co-operative Energy is also a big supporter of nuclear energy, and has made great strides in moving away from dependence on coal, which is the dirtiest fuel used in the generation of electricity. Although the energy you receive comes directly from the central pool known as the national grid, you can rest assured that Co-operative Energy will replace the power you consume with electricity from sources that are as environmentally friendly as possible. The company’s energy mix can be broken down as follows:
Thanks to its unique structure, Co-operative Energy operates a little differently to its competitors. Every decision is taken with the best interests of customers in mind, rather than the financial interests of shareholders. As well as investing in an organisation that you can trust, choosing Co-operative Energy means that you’ll share in the profits of the company, by way of receiving lower rates for your energy supply. Co-operative Energy is not always the cheapest supplier, but you can be sure that you’re always receiving the best possible prices that the company can offer, and that it will remain competitive in the long-term. It’s also good to know that Co-operative Energy has an ethical code of conduct that they strive to stand by at all times.
Overall, Co-operative Energy has tried to simplify the process of energy supply, and offers its members a clear, straightforward package that dispels unnecessary trepidation about tariffs, confusion over contracts and panic about payment terms. Other suppliers often lure customers with unsustainably cheap time-limited deals, which are followed by huge increases in rates once the deal ends. However, you won’t find that approach at Co-operative Energy, who offer a single tariff and one simple price, with no gimmicky extras that are often more confusing than they’re worth. Co-operative Energy can supply your gas, electricity or both, and take payments every month by Direct Debit. When you switch, the company will calculate your energy use, and will fix a monthly fee based on that to help you budget more efficiently. The monthly fee includes a base standing charge, which covers the cost of servicing your account, alongside estimated expenditure based on a single price-per-unit. Your payments will be reviewed every six months, to make sure that you’re not paying too much or too little, and you’ll be notified a month in advance if your payments are due to increase. You’ll be able to access quarterly statements online, although you can also receive them by post for an additional fee, and there’s also no cancellation fee if you decide to switch supplier.
As a member of Co-operative Energy, you’ll have access to a transparent breakdown of how much their energy costs, how they calculate their prices, and how much profit is made. Furthermore, members vote to elect company directors, and also get to decide how much profit is shared around, and how much is invested back into the company. Co-operative Energy is also affiliated to The Co-operative Group, giving you the chance to benefit from a number of great deals on a wide variety of energy-saving home appliances.