A UK couple is set to launch a new transparent energy company to compete with the Big Six, funded and owned by its customers.
David Pike and Karin Sode are hoping to crowdfund over £450,000 to make Our Energy operational in 2017. The company aims to give 75% of profits back to customers and will also give them representation on the board of directors.
The couple decided to set up Our Energy after growing tired of relentless price hikes, lack of transparency and poor customer service from the larger energy companies.
Their idea is being backed by a number of senior business people, including former chair of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer OBE.
The company will share salaries, decisions, accounts and prices with customers, to ensure a truly transparent and customer-focused energy company.
Mr Pike originally trained as an engineer and, in recent years, has provided leadership consultancy to the power generation and network sectors for EDF and Scottish Power.
“Like most UK energy consumers, Karin and I have had bad experiences when dealing with the big energy firms. People in the UK have quite rightly lost trust in their energy suppliers. Why should we all pay higher prices just to line a shareholder’s pocket?” said Mr Pike.
“We want to bring democracy and transparency to the UK’s energy market. Our customers will enjoy the profits and after three years will own the company. They will never have to switch supplier again, as they’ll own the company and have complete trust in its practices.”
The couple, supported by a wider team of finance and business specialists, raised over £18,000 on crowdfunder in autumn 2016; the British public’s enthusiasm meant they smashed their £10,000 target by the deadline. The current drive to crowdfund over £450,000 will secure Our Energy’s future and ensure it becomes operational and open to customers in 2017.
Ms Sode said: “Energy comes from natural resources that should belong to us all, not private entities. We are absolutely passionate about returning ownership of this natural resource to consumers. We are crowdfunding for Our Energy because we don’t want private shareholders we need to answer to: our customers will be our shareholders.”
Consumers can secure their place as future owners of their own energy company by donating on http://www.crowdfunder.co.uk/ourenergy. Shares cannot be bought and sold: they will remain in the hands of customers.
Customers will be represented on the board, have voting rights on business decisions and be informed of all costs involved in running the energy business.