Caveat emptor at Co-operative Energy

I blogged back in August on the problems and the bad press which Co-operative Energy (part of the Midcounties Co-operative society) had encountered.  How are they doing now?

My own gas and electricity account is with Co-operative Energy and I had a long conversation with one of their staff this morning. I couldn’t fault her customer service: we were talking for probably twenty minutes or more, and the end result is that I am transferred on to a new tariff which should save me a shedload of money over the next twelve months. So well done Sharon for your efforts and I hope your bosses get to read this.

But there is a downside. Co-operative Energy started with just a single tariff, called appropriately enough after the Rochdale Pioneers. It was simple, and it was a welcome alternative to the traditional practice of energy suppliers who entice new customers with new tariffs and rip off loyal customers who don’t think to change from the tariffs they’re on.  But Co-operative Energy has now joined the rest of the industry by introducing new (and better value) tariffs, leaving those of us still loyal to the Pioneers account paying more than we need. I’m sorry that they felt the need to do this – and I also feel they didn’t adequately let their existing customers know of the change.

Midcounties has a good track record and is currently Co-operatives UK’s Co-op of the Year. To keep its reputation, its board and senior management need to keep a close grip on what is happening in its Energy subsidiary.


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