Ethical energy supplier Co-operative Energy has doubled in size after winning ‘The Big Switch’ auction.
The Big Switch was the UK's first collective switching exercise organised by Which? and campaign group 38 Degrees. The auction took place in May and Co-operative Energy competed against other energy suppliers to win all three tariff categories – variable rate, fixed rate online and fixed rate offline.
Co-operative Energy's Business Development Manager, Nigel Mason, said: "This was the first large scale collective buying scheme in the UK. 26,000 customers switching to Co-operative Energy is a big boost for us. It gives us more buying power when negotiating on wholesale energy markets and so keeps costs down for consumers. The more people who join us, the greater clout we have to get consumers a better deal.”
Co-operative Energy announced in April it would bid for the business for which 280,000 had registered interest. On this occasion, the energy co-op wanted to emphasise on the importance of co-operative buying.
“Collective buying is at the heart of the co-operative business model. It is a very powerful way for consumers to harness their combined buying power and get a better deal. We want the principle of collective buying to become part of everyday life for consumers,” Mr Mason added.
The gas and electricity supplier has doubled its size to 52,000 customers. Co-operative Energy now supplies one in every 500 households. The new customers have joined Co-operative Energy after its success in the Big Switch auction.
Which? will be contacting everyone who registered with The Big Switch in the week beginning 14 May with full details, including their estimated savings. Customers who did not register for The Big Switch and are current customers of Co-operative Energy will be contacted with details of the Big Switch tarrifs which they will be able to consider.
Co-operative Energy is the only UK energy supplier that is owned by customers, who are rewarded twice a year with a share of profits. It is part of Midcounties Co-operative, one of the largest co-operative businesses in the UK, owned by over 300,000 members.