The Co-operative Energy launched today – a new player in the gas and electricity market that aims to distinguish itself from the competition by offering just one energy tariff and one price.
Which? executive director Richard Lloyd says: ‘The launch of The Co-operative Energy could give the energy sector a much needed shake up. Only one in four people currently think energy companies are trustworthy, so it’s a good time for a new entrant with a focus on honesty and transparency to come into the market.
‘The Co-operative Bank has consistently scored highly in our customer service satisfaction surveys, so now the challenge is for The Co-operative Energy to follow suit and deliver on its promise to treat customers better.’
Good news for energy consumers?
Which? is campaigning for gas and electricity suppliers to simplify the range of energy tariffs they offer, and The Co-operative Energy says it intends to address a number of Which?’s key demands on making gas and electricity tariffs simpler and more transparent. You can find out more about our Terrible energy tariffs campaign here.
There are over 4,000 energy tariffs in the UK. Compared to some other energy suppliers that offer a complex range of tariffs, The Co-op Energy is innovating by offering just one single tariff, with a single rate irrespective of how much gas and electricity you use, and with no exit penalty.
Not the cheapest
The Co-operative Energy says it may not be the cheapest supplier in the market on an ongoing basis, but promises instead to be ‘very competitive over the long-term’. It hopes to attract customers who are happy to pay a bit more to avoid nasty surprises. The Co-op Energy says it will keep the monthly amount you pay fixed for as long as possible. It is, however, aiming to always be in the lowest quartile of prices available.
Our latest Which? Switch energy company satisfaction survey results shows that small providers are streets ahead of Britain’s six biggest energy suppliers – which supply 98% of Britain’s homes. But satisfaction with the smaller players isn’t enough to pull the average overall satisfaction with energy companies above 48% – one of the lowest of all industries covered by Which? surveys.
To see the results of our customer satisfaction survey and how your energy company scored, go to Which? Switch, our independent switching site, where you can also find out how the Co-operative Energy tariff compares to the tariff you are on.
An ethical choice?
Co-operative Energy says it supports cleaner, renewable sources of energy. It is aiming to halve the carbon content of its electricity to be less than half the national average by April 2012. It also says it will avoid coal-derived energy and will support nuclear power.
As a mutualist business, the Co-op is owned by its customers, who become members, and not by shareholders, which could make it an attractive choice to those who object to energy companies making large profits This also means that members get a share of the profit.
And whilst four out of six of the ‘big six’ energy suppliers in the UK are owned by foreign companies, the Co-operative Energy prides itself in being UK owned.
Lower your gas and electricity bills
You can compare energy prices and switch to a new gas and electricity supplier on Which? Switch. People who switched with us between 1 October and 31 December 2013 are predicted to save an average of £234 a year on their bills.
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