As a supporter of animal welfare campaigns, fairtrade and the green agenda, 35-year-old Sally Cooke has been a Co-operative shopper for many years and is a big fan of the ethos of the Co-operative.
So when Co-operative Energy launched earlier this year, she was fast out of the blocks to switch energy supplier for both her gas and electricity use. She explains: “I didn’t have a particular problem with my previous energy supplier, but I do like the whole thinking of the Co-operative and I really love the idea of all the customers being shareholders instead of a fat cat stuffing money into his pockets.”
So Sally, a member of Stretton Climate Care, and committed to reducing her carbon footprint, describes herself as a ‘jumper-on-rather-than-heating-on’ type of person. She checked her energy bill with Co-operative Energy and found she could be green and save money by switching. “That was the bonus to be honest,” said Sally. “I wanted to switch to Co-operative Energy because I’d be a shareholder and because of their realistic commitment to sourcing greener energy where possible, but the money-saving was the icing on the cake.”
Sally has battled myalgic encephalomyelitis or ME for 19 years and on good days volunteers for her local church giving craft lessons at outreach sessions. But because of her long-term, debilitating illness she needs to be able to turn her heating on when she is less mobile and she also relies on electricity to power her mobility scooter.
“My bill is modest compared to other people but every penny counts. My scooter is my lifeline and I use it to get around town and for shopping. It has to be charged up regularly so my energy bill is something I watch. But I like the idea that my scooter is powered with green energy from the Co-operative.”
And Sally has discovered another bonus of switching to Co-operative Energy. She’s introduced her parents and a friend to the energy provider and has received membership points under the new ambassador scheme. To date Sally has introduced two people to the energy provider and has been able to donate £25 to Cancer Research. By choosing to donate the points to a charity of her choice, Co-operative Energy doubled the money value.
Sally said: “It’s a brilliant scheme. I have recommended Co-operative Energy on Facebook and to friends and family because they are so nice to deal with and they are fair. They are the energy supplier that actually seems to care about the issues that I care about. But then you get the added bonus of money which you can choose to give to charity.”
“I’m just deciding which charity to donate my ambassador points to. I know they will really appreciate it. I used to volunteer for the RNIB so I know how vital funds are especially in the harder times that we face at the moment. It’s good to be able to give something back.”