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Co-operative Energy announces profit sharing with customers as big six are attacked for profiteering

Posted on 17 October 2011

Co-operative Energy customers will soon be enjoying their first profit share following the announcement of a proposed interim dividend of 1.3 pence per pound spent.[1] The Midcounties Co-operative, which launched Co-operative Energy  and which is wholly owned by its customers and shares out its profits in two half yearly dividend payments, today announced that the first payment will be an interim dividend of 1.3 pence, subject to the member vote which will take place this week. The news comes on the day the Government called the ‘Big Six’ energy companies to account at an emergency summit meeting headed by Energy Secretary Chris Huhne. Government, regulators, and representatives from the industry met amid increasing pressure for simpler, fairer energy bills and an overhaul of the industry. Following its launch in May 2011, Co-operative Energy now has more than 14,000 customers. The business believes they have attracted customers away from their competitors because of their commitment to simplifying tariffs, treating customers fairly with no exit penalties and avoiding any doorstep selling, and because it is wholly owned by customers who share in any profits. Co-operative Energy’s Business Development Manager, Nigel Mason, said: “Co-operative Energy has always been committed to the values and commitments which the Government is now appealing to the major supplies to adopt. David Cameron stated ahead of today’s summit that the aim of the meeting was to create a ‘trusted, simple and transparent market’. By providing a simple tariff and sharing profits with customers, Co-operative Energy customers can be assured of complete transparency when it comes to their gas and electricity bills. Nigel continued: “Currently there is no transparency between the retail prices which customers pay and the costs of sourcing gas and electricity on the wholesale markets. In order to ensure a fully transparent market, allowing other retailers to enter and keep costs down for customers, there needs to be radical reform of the sector. “If the Government is serious about stimulating real alternatives to the Big Six, it must urgently ensure that market barriers are tackled.”

[1] Subject to members’ approval at half yearly meetings. Interim dividend relates to money spent with Co-operative Energy in the period 23 January to 23 July 2011. Interim dividend paid on 23 November 2011. Dividend paid may be offset against future energy bills.

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