New energy supplier Co-operative Energy is to increase its charges because of price rises in the wholesale energy market but is keeping its pledge of honest, transparent and competitive pricing.
Co-operative Energy, which launched in May of 2011 and already has over 14,000 customers nationally, will increase prices by 18% for gas and 11% for electricity from November 3rd 2011. But despite the increases, which are in line with the majority of other energy suppliers, the ethical energy provider still remains one of the cheapest with its simple-to-understand, single-price tariff.
The energy and gas supplier described its regret at the forced price increases but pointed to the fact that Co-operative Energy has managed to hold the lower prices for longer, with their planned rise not due to take effect until the beginning of November, while the majority of major suppliers are putting their prices up effective from October 2011 or earlier.
It is also to buck the industry trend and hold the standing charge element of bills, only applying the increase to the actual energy consumed which should help lower usage households which are often the lower income households.
Co-operative Energy’s Business Development Manager Nigel Mason said: “The last thing we want to do is put up our prices and we have held off for as long as we possibly could, but unfortunately we are affected by the same pressures as the rest of the energy industry.
“Rising wholesale prices during the winter months, rising charges for energy distribution and rising Government levies to fund national policies like renewable energy investment, are all factors driving up prices.
“Co-operative Energy is all about giving our customers a fair deal and while we can’t do anything about that wholesale price increase we are committed to giving our existing customers and the new customers who are joining us, a fair and competitive deal. We’re still one of the cheapest suppliers despite the increase and there are not traps or tricks – we give our customers one tariff and there are no fixed terms, penalties or lock-ins.
“We’re working hard to do everything we can to support our customers through this winter and by holding the cost of the standing charge element of the bill we’re helping lower usage, lower income households.
“Energy is a precious commodity and all the indicators point to a global rise in demand which puts pressure on supply so everyone needs to start thinking carefully about how they can save energy. We will continue to provide people with help and advice, give people a fair deal and be open and honest about everything we do at Co-operative Energy.”
 Ranked first or second cheapest standard tariff for an average dual fuel energy consumer in 9 out of 14 regions, compared to the six major suppliers, not counting the value of co-operative points. Around 75% of consumers are on standard tariffs (source: DECC, 2010)