Britain’s newest energy supplier, Co-operative Energy, has today announced it is to cut its prices and has laid down a marker for the industry to put customers before profits.
The ethical gas and electricity provider, which has attracted more than 16,000 customers since its launch in May 2011, is to reduce its gas and electricity charges for most customers by on average 3% from 1 February 2012. That’s a saving of around £35 per year for the average household. This will make Co-operative Energy cheaper than all the Big 6 standard tariffs in all 14 regions.
The move is driven by the Co-operative’s pledge to provide customers with a fair and transparent deal and is a swift reaction to the recent fall in wholesale energy prices.
Co-operative Energy’s Nigel Mason said: “We made a promise to our customers to give them the very best deal and to be consistently competitive. We stick to our word. This Autumn’s exceptionally mild weather has led to a drop in wholesale prices so we’re passing on those savings as soon as we possibly can. Who else but a co-operative would do that?”
He added: “We’re not answerable to remote investors; we’re answerable to our customers who are our members. We know these are very tough times for everyone so we are doing what we can to support our customers. Hopefully this will be welcome news in the run up to Christmas.”
Co-operative Energy was one of the last of the major suppliers to put prices up at the beginning of autumn when wholesale energy prices spiked and it’s now the first to reduce prices. Since then it has paid members a dividend and introduced new flexible payment options to help people manage their energy bills when household budgets are tight.
 The price reduction applies to all but the first customers of Co-operative Energy including those who signed up during the new entrant’s “probationary period”. These were members of Midcounties, the parent co-operative society, who were offered a significantly lower tariff which remains lower after this price reduction.
 Based on average dual fuel consumer in West Midlands region.