Co-op Power’s new MD says energy sector must co-operate for a green future

The energy buying group highlighted the co-operative procurement model as a way of protecting customers from energy market volatility

Co-op Power’s new managing director, Scott Etherington, has called on the global energy industry, government and businesses to “tear up the rule book” and co-operate their way to a sustainable future.

Mr Etherington recently replaced David Roberts as the head of the UK’s biggest energy buying group, following a role as finance director of the Co-op Group’s wholesale business, Nisa.

He said Co-op Power – the Group’s utilities arm which serves business customers – offered protection from the volatile energy market thanks to its co-operative procurement model. This comes as gas and electricity costs soar to record levels, loading extra costs onto businesses.

Mr Etherington said: “Because of our combined buying power, long forward hedging, risk management, and co-operative sharing of benefits, Co-op Power is able to give significant protection to our customers, not just this year, but into 2022 as well.

“If prices were to remain as they are, Co-op Power has saved the Co-op and our Co-op Power customers £37m of energy cost in 2022, and £9m in 2023. That’s a hit that’s seen businesses go under this week.”

Co-op Power consists of over 70 members with more than £200m of buying power per year, and is currently working towards a target of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2040.

“I think we have an amazing opportunity to play our part in transforming the energy market, continuing to raise the bar in green standards, as we all progress towards Net Zero,” added Mr Etherington.

“Fundamentally, we need a different model. We can’t compete our way to green, we can only co-operate our way there. I’m looking forward to leading a part of the Co-op that goes right to the heart of our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World.”

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