Husband and wife entrepreneurs David Pike and Karin Sode were so tired of the big energy companies’ relentless price hikes that they decided to create their own energy company – Peoples’ Energy – which has now received its OFGEM licence, enabling them to start registering customers to be supplied with energy.
People’s Energy will return 75% of its profits to customers, have customer representation on the board while salaries, decisions, accounts and prices will all be shared with the public, meaning People’s Energy will be the first completely transparent and customer-focused energy company in the UK.
To date the duo has raised over £450,000 in crowdfunder pledges from 2,000 supporters. People’s Energy will start providing energy from the beginning of August.
The initiative is also being backed by a number of senior businessmen, including former chairman of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer, CBE, and John Wright, the former chief executive of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks.
People’s Energy wants to keep its customers year after year and will provide free shares to those that remain with the company. Consumers will also have a voice in shaping the company with representation on the board and salaries, decisions, accounts and prices will all be shared, meaning People’s Energy will be the first completely transparent and customer-focused energy company in the UK.
Pike, a former Scottish Power engineer, said: “The vision for People’s Energy is to have over one million customers, all of whom are in control of their gas and electricity and getting a percentage of the company’s profits back.
“Our company is about putting trust back into the market, currently there is very little. We want our customers to know that we have their best interests at heart and that with us they will have a say in how the company is run.
“Customers receive free share ownership of the business within three years. When customers stay with People’s Energy they are given free shares which they can keep as long as they remain a customer. They can’t sell the shares to someone else. People’s Energy wants UK citizens to always own their own energy supply.
“Customers will vote and shape the direction of the company. When major decisions need to be made within People’s Energy, customers will have a vote on the direction of the business.”
Pike said People’s Energy’s directors will share decisions, accounts, salaries and wholesale energy costs openly. Together, staff and customers will change the way that resources that naturally belong to the public are distributed among them.
Karin Sode added: “Energy comes from natural resources that should belong to us all, not private entities. We are absolutely passionate about returning ownership of this natural resource to consumers.”