Last updated: 29 January 2021
In this guide:
Co-op Energy company profile
What do Co-op Energy members get?
Are Co-op Energy plans green?
What are Co-op Energy reviews like?
Is Co-op Energy the right provider for me?
Co-op Energy, also commonly referred to as Co-operative Energy, is a UK energy supplier operating under the Midcounties Co-operative umbrella. Since 2019 it’s been powered by Octopus Energy (see below for how this works in practice). Co-op Energy prides itself on being the only co-operative supplier in the market.
HQ: Midlands, United Kingdom
Total customers: 300,000
The Midcounties Co-operative – like all other UK co-ops – does not answer to shareholders. Instead, members own and run the business, giving them a greater say in how the company is run. This also means that a percentage of profits are passed right back to customers.
Co-op Energy describes itself as fair and transparent, and proved as much in 2014 when it allowed users to choose where their electricity came from. This move earnt it the EU Sustainable Energy Europe Award.
Co-op Energy gives its customers the opportunity to become members of the Co-op Midcounties group, which is the largest UK co-operative, larger even than the better-known Manchester-based Co-operative Society, which operates nationally. The cost of joining is just £1, and the membership fee is taken from your first year of profit. Existing Co-op Midcounties members can link their account to Co-op Energy via the website.
Membership confers the following benefits:
Become an owner, along with hundreds of thousands of UK members.
Have a say in how the business is run and elect directors.
Receive a share of the profits each year.
Receive bonus member points on your energy bills.
Crucially, money spent with other Co-op Midcounties businesses, such as its Co-op food stores across the West Midlands, South West and South East, as well as the Phone Co-op and national travel and childcare businesses, earn points, which are converted to cash at the end of each year, and can be used as credit against your Co-op Energy bill.
The Co-op takes its role as a co-operative community-run company seriously, and that means making ethical choices every step of the way. This extends to the tariffs it offers: Co-op Flexible Tariff, Co-op Fixed Tariff, and Co-op Community Power all feature 100% renewable electricity as standard.
In addition, those who choose the Co-op Community Power tariff do so in the knowledge that the renewable electricity is exclusively sourced from community-run renewable energy projects around the UK, while 100% of your gas is carbon offset too. The Community Power tariff is fixed for 12 months, and as with the Co-op Fixed Tariff, there are no exit fees.
Now Co-op is powered by Octopus Energy, it no longer publishes its own fuel mix, but Octopus’s electricity mix is 100% renewables, of which 75.3% is wind power, 21% Solar and 3.7% Hydro. Those on the Co-op Community Power tariff can trace their electricity even more precisely, to one of 79 small-scale community wind, solar or hydro farms.
In August 2019, Co-op Energy teamed up with fellow energy supplier Octopus Energy. The highest-rated supplier by ‘Which?’ for its customer service, Octopus Energy’s partnership with Co-op Energy means that while customers remain part of the co-operative, Octopus administers their accounts, including taking payments (which will appear as Octopus Energy on your statement).
This also means logging in to Octopus’s own branded accounts dashboard, which can be a little confusing. However, once logged into your dashboard, you should be able to see your Co-op Tariff, confirming you’re still a part of Co-op Energy.
Octopus is now responsible for administering all aspects of your Co-op Energy supply and is part of the national rollout of smart meters that the government hopes to complete by the end of 2021. If you’ve not already been contacted, you can register your interest through your account on the Octopus Energy dashboard.
Co-op Energy has an average rating of 4.6 out of 5 stars from around 3,500 TrustPilot reviews as of January 2021. 59% of those reviews rate the provider's service as "Excellent", with 15% rating it as "Bad". As with all TrustPilot ratings, it pays to read some of the reviews rather than taking the scores at face value.
Although it’s now effectively run by Octopus Energy, Co-op Energy remains a strong choice for customers looking for a supplier who values green energy and fair trading. The co-operative nature of the brand should appeal to traditional Co-op customers, while its Co-op Community Power tariff allows ethically minded customers two added bonuses over other green energy plans: one, the knowledge that your power is sourced from small, UK-based, renewable generators, and two, your gas is carbon offset too. Throw in the option of becoming a member of the parent co-operative society with the opportunity to earn points elsewhere to use against your energy bills, and Co-op Energy remains a unique option in the energy market.