An independent Scottish energy provider is being launched in Edinburgh today to exploit widespread lack of consumer trust in the UK’s ‘Big Six’ retail gas and electricity companies.
Named Our Energy to emphasise the shift of market power from energy provider to consumer, it will be the first UK energy company to put profits and ownership into the hands of the customer.
It will offer two tariffs – Green and Lean. Green will enable customers to choose exclusively from renewable energy providers while Lean will allow them to choose the cheapest rate available.
The new UK energy firm will give a share of the profits, free shares and a say in the future of the business to its customers.
In its first year, it will limit the number of customers to 30,000. Donors on its crowdfunding page can choose to secure their place as a customer from when trading begins.
Our Energy has been set up with some £70,000 of start-up investment funding and is the brainchild of David Pike, a business consultant who has worked with large-scale businesses, including two of the Big Six energy firms.
The company chairman is Peter Lederer, CBE, formerly chairman of Gleneagles Hotel and director of the Diageo, the global drinks conglomerate which owns many prominent whisky brands and distilleries.
Involvement from the British public starts with a crowdfunding campaign. Our Energy aims to raise £10,000 to cover initial costs of market entry, which includes obtaining a licence from OFGEM. It aims to be operational next year and to distribute profits to customers every year thereafter.
The company will ‘guarantee’ that all customers will be entitled to a share of the profits (75% of the total) and will receive free shares.
Pike said: “UK consumers have quite rightly lost trust in their energy suppliers. Why should we all pay higher prices just to line a shareholder’s pocket?
“People are fed up with being taken for a ride by large corporates, and they have lost trust in their energy suppliers – 43% of consumers don’t trust their supplier to be fair, according to OFGEM.
“Our Energy will bring democracy and transparency to the UK’s energy market.
“Our customers will enjoy the profits, in three years they’ll own the majority of the company and they’ll never have to switch energy supplier again, because they will always have the best deal.”
“Customers will be represented on the board, have voting rights on business decisions and be informed of all costs involved in running the energy business. Our Energy will give customers total transparency and will publish all salaries, expenses and costs. “
Peter Lederer CBE, Chairman, Our Energy, added: “It’s time to build an organisation that gives consumers control and the majority of profits.
“UK consumers have been at the mercy of the Big Six for too long.”