The Co-Operative to enter the energy market while shouting the word 'fair'

10 May 2011

Bitterwallet - British GasThe Co-Operative have decided to enter the energy market with a simple, single tariff which they think will be consistently fair and competitive. Basically, this gives them the chance to be smug in the face of all those other energy providers who rip us all off every chance they get.

They've called it the Pioneer tariff, which is named after the Rochdale 'pioneers' who founded the first co-operative in 1844, which is vaguely infuriating and self-congratulatory.

Co-Operative Energy have said that there'll be no penalties for switching to a different provider and that new customers won't be getting preferential treatment over existing customers with cheaper offers and the like.

They've said that the climate of multi-tariff offers is "baffling and bewildering" and that, instead of being greedy beggars, they'll include a twice-yearly profit-sharing deal for all its customers, who will own the business. It sounds like the energy equivalent of a hippie commune (which means that Co-Op energy will either have to get nasty, fast or indeed, go out of business when the big boys start playing rough with them).

The dippy dream doesn't stop there. Electricity will be sourced from low-carbon generators as well as wind and hydro sources, and by April 2012, they hope that customers will be able to power their homes purely on a sense of self-satisfaction.

Co-operative Energy's Nigel Mason said: "It is time this industry had a radical shake up. Customers have been bamboozled by complicated tariffs and confused by changing prices and unfair contracts, and it has to stop. We are determined to provide a fair and transparent service for Co-operative Energy customers and to let them share in the profits. We are campaigning for long-overdue reform in the energy industry."

The Co-Op are also ratting on the others by saying that us plebs don't know how much we're paying for our energy, which will see Co-Op Energy providing us with a price-comparison website so we can all work out who is offering the cheapest deal.

While the Co-Op won't provide the cheapest deal for all, they are promising to provide the most consistent in terms of billing. We'll see if people like morals more than offers in due course.

TOPICS:   Utilities   Motoring   High Street News   Banking


  • Nick T.
    Nice idea, but surely the very fact they're calling it the Pioneer tariff indicates that other tariffs will follow later. If not, they could just call it "the Co-op tariff".
  • Mike H.
    Fuck me, is this place still going? I would have thought the elitest wankers on HUKD would have ruined this place as well?
  • The B.
    Nah, but they're having a damn good try.
  • Dick
    > that new customers won’t be getting preferential treatment over existing customers with cheaper offers and the like. Doesn't this mean that they will just charge everyone the same rate, and not give discounts at all. Much like it is fairer to make men and women pay the same rates of car insurance, so they up the price of insurance for women.
  • LD
    CO-OP own brand? So presumably if your a member, a share of the profits too - being one of the more generous schemes :-)
  • callum
    A new energy company is being formed by an established (and well-respected) brand which is aiming to be competitive, straight forward, fair for all it's members, carbon neutral AND give it's customers back a share of the profit they make and you only have negative things to say about it?
  • andy y.
    Or we could suck their balls?
  • Liam
    The Co-Op is one of the most expensive supermarkets and their insurance prices just aren't competitive either. I actually switched my bank to them from the Halifax and I've never looked back since. Their online banking is simple to use and if you ever need to call and speak to someone then you can get through in seconds.
  • Sawyer
    I like the Co-op and thought I'd check this out, but for a fair and simple tariff it's actually quite difficult to find the prices (see the "price" link at the bottom - the "big "our tariff" links get you nowhere). And having found the prices, it seems they're actually charging two different rates depending on when you signed up. Early customers get their energy a fair bit cheaper, since the Co-op have already played the "fixed charges until September" card. Doesn't that go against their "our prices are not fixed" policy? So far they aren't looking much better than all the other energy suppliers in terms of being honest and fair.

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