New partnerships and marketing chief at Co-op Energy

Midcounties’ green energy business will work with HomeServe to offer insurance policies and has hired Helen James from npower to push its ethical message

Co-op Energy has signed a deal with home assistance company HomeServe to offer insurance policies for a range of services to its 370,000 UK customers.

The five-year partnership agreement supports the ambitions of both organisations to diversify, grow and compete in the UK home emergency insurance and assistance market, worth more than £1.7bn a year.

A full range of home assistance products – covering electrical emergencies, plumbing protection and central heating and boiler breakdown cover – will be available from £3 per month for new and existing Co-op Energy customers, delivered under the Co-op Energy brand.

“We know that green energy is important to our members,” said David Bird, Co-op Energy’s CEO. “That’s why we offer 100% green electricity as standard and advise our customers on how they can reduce their consumption wherever we can.

“Part of that advice includes maintaining an efficient boiler and fixing any minor problems or faulty appliances quickly before they become a bigger issue or lead to wasted energy.

“Working with our partners at HomeServe to deliver a range of simple, good value new services that help achieve that therefore builds on the values that are at the heart of what we do.”

The suite of products provides cover for gas central heating, boilers and supply pipes; plumbing, drainage and water supply pipes and home electrics.

Steve Ashton, chief Partnerships officer of HomeServe Membership, said:  “Our business is 25 years old and we’re proud to serve more than two million UK customers and more than eight million in countries across the world.

“We work with many of the major water companies to deliver value add products like this and now we’re growing this type of programme with energy utilities, which is an exciting phase in our growth, diversification and expansion in the UK market. We look forward to giving many of Co-op Energy’s customers that added peace of mind when it comes to protecting their homes.”

Meanwhile, Co-op Energy has appointed Helen James to the post of chief marketing officer as it seeks to engage customers based on its co-operative values.

Helen James

Ms James, a customer insight specialist who joins from big six supplier npower, will focus on driving customer engagement and growing the co-operative movement within energy.

She said: “Co-op Energy is already driving change in this sector, delivering green power as standard, championing community energy and supporting innovation in a sector on the brink of transformation.

“To continue its growth, it needs to truly engage both existing and future customers with the values that drives it – democracy, openness, equality and social responsibility.

“Telling our story will help customers – and people interested in becoming customers – see that we share and live those values every day.”

Mr Bird added: “When the Midcounties Co-op launched an energy supplier in 2010, it wasn’t to break into the big six or to become just another provider – it was to offer something unique in a market characterised by a lack of trust.

“As the biggest co-operative in the UK energy market, we stand not just for offering renewable electricity as standard, or supporting locally-owned and operated low carbon generators, we represent fairness in a sector that is crying out for that.

“Helen’s expertise in customer insight and experience within the energy sector makes her the perfect fit for us as we seek to grow the co-operative movement in energy.”