Co-op Energy, also commonly referred to as Co-operative Energy, is a UK energy supplier operating under the Midcounties Co-operative. Co-op Energy is the only co-operative supplier in the market, giving it a key point of difference when compared with competitors and the big six.
HQ: Midlands, United Kingdom
Total customers: 300,000
As a co-operative company, Co-op Energy does not have any shareholders. Instead, members own and run the business, giving them a greater say in how the company is run. This also means that 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.
As a member of the UK’s The Co-operative Group, Co-op Energy gives its customers the opportunity to become members. This can be done via a simple £1 membership payment which allows customers to:
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 (the £1 membership fee is taken from the first year of payments you receive)
Receive bonus member points on their energy bills
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 Energy plans are available as both variable and fixed and all feature 100% renewable electricity as standard.
Its fuel mix shows that Co-op is well ahead of the average UK energy supplier by generating electricity from 100% renewable sources. Over 55% of its energy comes from wind and solar power alone.
Co-op Energy has PPAs (Power Purchase Agreements) with energy generation sites up and down the country, with 60% of them being community sites that align with the Co-op’s corporate values.
Customers will be given an online log-in when switching to any of the Co-op Energy tariffs, which gives them access to ‘User Chooser’, a service that lets them pick precisely where their energy comes from. Users do not have to complete this step, as all tariffs come with 100% green electricity as standard, however, it does let them choose to have power come from nearby generators, so they can support their local community. The local sites generating renewable power aren’t just hydro and wind farms, but also include local schools and bus stations that have installed solar panels.
In August 2019, Co-op Energy teamed with fellow energy supplier Octopus Energy. The highest-rated supplier by ‘Which?’ for its customer service, Octopus Energy’s partnership with Co-op Energy will allow customers to enjoy the customer service commitment and community-driven green energy solutions each brand is known for.
Co-op Energy customers will not see any difference in their prices, or in their membership or bills, but they will be able to benefit from an improved customer service team.
Co-op Energy offers home upgrades under the ECO Scheme to eligible customers. This government-backed plan helps keep vulnerable members of the community warm throughout the colder months.
Also known as the Energy Company Obligation, the ECO scheme is offered to customers who are currently on UK benefits such as Universal Credit. The benefits offered include:
Part or full payment of cavity wall insulation
Part or full payment of loft insulation
Part or full payment of replacement boiler
In addition to its green tariffs, the Co-operative Energy also offers extra services such as boiler cover to ensure customer households continue to run smoothly.
Includes a free boiler service in the first year, covers repairs to boilers and any controls as well as a promise to replace any boiler it can’t repair (provided it is under seven years old).
This covers all supply cables and pipes used as part of a Co-op gas and electric tariff. Customers will also have access to a 24/7 helpline and can claim as many times as needed to the value of £4000 per claim, only paying the excess of £30.
For customers looking for suppliers who value green energy and fair trading, Co-op Energy is well worth considering. Offering something no other UK supplier can, the co-operative structure of the brand gives it a notable edge for customers who wish to be more involved with, or subscribed to, a transparent energy supplier. Co-op Energy also offers one of the leading renewable energy plans in the UK with 25% renewable gas as well as completely green electricity. Plus, with the option of becoming a member and earning back yearly profit, Co-op Energy is a unique option in the energy market.