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Co-operative Energy customer case study

Posted on 28 March 2013

Siân Waters switched to Co-operative Energy on the recommendation of local low carbon co-operative Gen Community, which recently installed solar panels on Sian’s property in Tredegar, South Wales.

Siân, who lives with her sister Johanna and their greyhound Brian, is a great believer in ethical business practice and this was a key factor in her decision to switch from her previous energy supplier.

Siân is a professional conservationist and director of the Morroccan -based primate conservation project Barbary Macaque Conservation in the Rif (BMCRif) and as such spends long periods of the year away from home in Africa.

Siân explains: “My experience of starting up and running a conservation project means I’m familiar with the co-operative business model and an ethical approach and when the opportunity came to fit solar panels to my property this was an easy decision for me to make. Gen Community is a community benefit society and was established to develop and invest in low carbon energy projects in the area earlier this year. Solar panels were installed in February and Gen Community was quick to recommend Co-operative Energy so I followed their advice and did so without any hassle!

“Joining was easy and as I’m very interested in climate and conservation issues the renewables side of what Co-operative Energy could provide for me was right up my street.  And whilst I’ve not yet noticed any economic benefits of switching my electricity supply to Co-operative Energy, I’m sure that in the long run this will be of great benefit. I didn’t actually switch for economic reasons but more to have the reassurance that I’m dealing with an ethical suppler which cares about the environment as well as me as a customer. Sometimes it’s not always about the money as other issues are equally important to me.

“I also like the simplicity offered by Co-operative Energy – I’ve never previously understood my energy tariff and now it is all very simple and straightforward,” added Siân.

Gen Community has a unique partnership with Co-operative Energy which allows customers in the Newport region to own a share of their energy supplier and invest directly in their local energy generator.

The partnership between the two co-operatives means that investing members of Gen Community will be able to invest in decentralised low carbon energy generation, with a projected 7% annual rate of return. Members will also be able to own a share of the supplier that delivers power to their homes, completing the chain of end-to-end mutual ownership.

Existing Gen Community customers such as Siân who sign-up to Co-operative Energy also benefit by  receiving £25 off their first bill, plus the energy provider will donate a further £25 to a designated charity specialising in fuel poverty.

To find out more about the conservation work Siân is involved in please visit or

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