Co-op Group to expand renewables in its business energy offer

'It is vital that we continue to work with our own brand supply chain and other businesses to reduce costs and reduce carbon'

Co-op Power – the energy buying group operated by the Co-op Group – is looking to increase its purchasing of wind and solar.

It is hoped the move – part of the Group’s wider net zero ambitions – will save customers 1000 tonnes of carbon a day. The Group also has plans to expand the business significantly over the next few years, with targeted growth of 30% for 2021.

Co-op Power,  which is the biggest energy buying co-operative in the UK, says it will “use its collective buying might to help Co-op suppliers, and other businesses, save money and source purely green, low-cost energy in an ethical, sustainable way.”  

As part of its growth plans, Co-op Power will:  

  • Expand its Co-op Power wind and solar energy buying group to offer its services to Co-op’s suppliers and more UK businesses and organisations.
  • Double the amount of Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) to boost renewable capacity and reduce the carbon intensity of electricity
  • Develop a co-operative PPA proposition where multiple customers join together with Co-op Power to commit to a PPA difference, and help those who might not have the size or capabilities to do this in house.  
  • Expand its services throughout its supply chain to help move more suppliers and businesses to quality green energy
  • Support the roll out of local solar, including the creation of an electric vehicle charging installation and increasing the installation of solar panels on the roof of buildings.

Examples include the Group’s Biggleswade depot, which serves London and the south east, where 3.5 MW of solar PV is being installed on the roof. The balance of the electricity will come from Biggleswade windfarm, which the Group helped to develop.

Co-op Power says its collective, co-operative buying model allows it to buy and distribute 100% REGO renewable energy from sustainable wind and solar, not biomass, making it on average 4.2% cheaper than its competitors. This bulk-buying allows it to pass on the market wholesale price directly to its customers, it adds.

David Roberts, managing director at Co-op Power, said: “We recognise the climate emergency and accelerate our response, more so than ever it is vital that we continue to work with our own brand supply chain and other businesses to reduce costs and reduce carbon. 

“Expanding Co-op Power and increasing our PPAs will not only guarantee a source of green but reinforces our climate commitments and a fairer and more sustainable future for us all. 60% of our supply chain admit they don’t have the resource to reach net zero alone, co-operation is in our DNA and we are keen to share our expertise with others.  

“This will not only help us achieve the targets set out in our ten-point plan, but also promote ethical and sustainable practices that will help build the UK’s renewable energy capacity.”  

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