The Co-operative to become energy provider

The Co-operative is launching its own energy company to directly compete with the “big six” gas and electricity suppliers.

CoOp

Co-operative Energy promises one “simple” single unit price tariff and will source electricity from law carbon generators, such as wind and hydropower.

The launch follows regulator Ofgem’s ongoing market review. The watchdog ordered the big six energy companies to simplify their tariffs.

Nigel Mason, Co-operative Energy spokesman, says: “It’s time the industry had a radical shake up. Customers have been bamboozled by complicated tariffs and confused by changing prices and unfair contracts, and it has to stop.”

The national Co-operative Energy launch will be supported by social media activity, including YouTube video voxpops about consumers’ views of the energy market.

Co-operative Energy is wholly owned by the Midcounties Co-operative, the third largest co-operative in the UK, with more than 300,000 members. Like other Co-operative products, its Energy customers will receive profit dividends bi-annually.

The new energy company claims it will never “hard-sell” customers and will not impose exit penalties or lock people into fixed price contracts. Co-operative Energy also aims for the carbon content of its electricity to be less than half the national average by April 2012.

Separately, British Gas owner Centrica warned customers today (9 May) that they may face higher bills to reflect increasing wholesale gas prices.

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