Couple takes on ‘Big Six’ with new people’s energy company
A NEW ENERGY SUPPLIER IN SCOTLAND has been set up, promising to return 75 per cent of its profits to the customers it recruits.
In a challenge to the so called ‘big six’ of the UK’s energy market, the People's Energy firm set up by an East Lothian couple aims to show that an ethical company can be profitable, received its licence from the regulator Ofgem after raising over £400,000 from thousands of supporters on Crowdfunder.
Founder David Pike and Karin Sode, said this was “a vital moment” to show that the UK’s energy supply market could be transformed by putting “power in the hands of consumers.”
David Pike said: “People’s Energy firm is really a movement as much as it is an energy company. Everyone has had their own misadventures with the big six and now people are just fed up.
“Everybody needs energy. We all need heat and we all need light. I don't want to buy energy, but I have to, and if I can't get a fair deal, well, that's just not right.
“Our company is about putting trust back into the market where currently there is very little. We want our customers to know that we have their best interests at heart and that with us they will have a say in how the company is run.”
The UK energy market is dominated by a handful of massive corporate entities, which have cornered the market. Critics say this corporate monopolisation lies behind huge price rises over the last 15 years.
The company first had its initial business plan given the go-ahead, a plan which ensures that 75 per cent of all profits to customers in the form of a yearly rebate. The initiatives hope is that customers feel more like stakeholders in a company and the firm has an interest in not ripping-off their customer base.
Co-founder Sode said it meant consumers would “automatically get the best deal” either through cheaper prices or the repayment of profits through the cash rebate scheme. Profits that are not returned to customers will be re-invested in the business, with the medium-term goal of acquiring wind farms and other renewable generation assets.
People's Energy say the company board and operations will be run in an ethical fashion, pledging “transparency on both decision-making and accounting.” The founders will invite customers to sit on the board of directors able to play key roles in investment choices and reviews on customer service quality.
Sode also stated that the aim is to have one million customers within seven years with a target customer base of 20,000 in the first year.
She added: “Energy comes from natural resources that should belong to all of us, not private entities. We are absolutely passionate about returning ownership of this natural resource to consumers.”
Picture courtesy of People’s Energy
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