As the only co-operative energy supplier in the UK, Co-op Energy bring something a little different to the crowded energy market. Run by hundreds of thousands of equal members and with a well-known ethical brand, Co-op Energy should be the most socially-concious and greenest supplier around.
At The Switch, we look at the UK's top green suppliers and compare their customer service, tariffs, pricing and account management to help you decide if suppliers such as Co-op Energy are worth switching to. Read on to find out!
Co-op Energy at a Glance
- Electricity: 100% renewable
- Gas: -
- Based: Warwick
- Founded: 2010
- Customers: 300,000 (2018)
- One of the larger suppliers outside Big Six
- Only co-operative supplier in the UK
- Owned by their members
- Aquired rival supplier Flow Energy in 2018
- Poor rating and reviews on Trustpilot
Co-op Energy Reviews
One of the best ways to help you choose your next energy supplier is to go by other customers' reviews using websites such as Trustpilot. This is an easy way to gauge what other customers think about a supplier on factors such as their pricing, customer service and account management.
At first glance, Co-operative Energy's reviews online are pretty poor. As of January 2019, Co-op Energy have a measly Trustpilot score of 4.3 out of 10. This is an average score taken from over 600 customer reviews. In fact, around half (49%) of customers gave Trustpilot the lowest rating of "Bad", with only around one quarter (26%) rating them as "Excellent".
Browsing Co-op Energy reviews, it is clear that many customers have encountered the same problems including being put on incorrect tariffs, being overcharged and slow response times from customer service. Others complain of poor or slow service over the phone and by email meaning long wait times for a resolution to their issue.
“Possibly the worst 'customer service' we have ever experienced. Summed up this evening with having spent an hour and a quarter on the phone, we ended up back with the first person we’d spoken to despite speaking to three others who we were assured were able to resolve the issue.”
Another common issue encountered appears to be logging into the Co-op's website. Numerous customers have stated that they cannot access their online account or that the website is often down.
Phrases such as "Worst energy company ever" and "truly fed up" sum up the feelings of many disgruntled customers. However, despite some scathing reviews, there are other customers who feel quite the opposite and have received a good service from Co-op Energy. Customers have claimed the call centre staff to be helpful, patient, friendly and professional.
“Called Co-op due to a recommendation and was not disappointed! Being a home owner for the first time, the advisor on the phone could not have been more helpful at explaining everything and took the time to talk through my options fully. I got a good deal and good customer service so I look forward to being a long term customer.”
So whilst not all bad, there are certainly far better suppliers out there when it comes to customer satisfaction and far better online ratings.
About Co-op Energy
The Midcounties Cooperative is the UK’s largest cooperative with around 670,000 members. It founded Co-operative Energy in 2010 to supply electricity and gas throughout the UK and customers are automatically shareholders. Co-op Energy is run by it's members instead of investors or shareholders, who contribute to the running of the company and have a say its major decisions. All members have one equal vote for all ideas, policies and decisions that the elected members put forward, whilst they also benefit from a share of the profits.
As well as being run by its members, their ethical approach also includes sourcing renewable energy from UK-based, independent suppliers and offering affordable energy prices - especially since many of their members are also their customers.
“We’re committed to offering our customers fair energy prices, and source our energy from local suppliers all over the country.”
Today, Co-operative Energy has over 300,000 customers which makes it one of the larger alternative electricity and gas suppliers in the UK. This growth has been largely due to their takeovers of a couple of energy firms that went bust over the past few years. The first such takeover was of GB Energy in 2016 after they collapsed, leading to the Co-op inheriting their 160,000 customers. In 2018, they also completed the takeover of Flow Energy and inherited all of their 130,000 customers, although Flow Energy continues to function as a separate brand.
Co-op Energy’s Fuel Mix
Next up, lets look at where Co-op Energy source their energy from.
Co-operative Energy are a completely renewable supplier and offer electricity sourced from a wide variety of sources including solar, wind and hydro power.
The rest of their energy mix is made up of Biodegradable (19.35%), Biogas (3.63%), Biomass (6.98%) and Landfill gas (13.32%).
Did you know?
As with all suppliers providing 100% renewable electricity, Co-op Energy customers receive the same electricity from the National Grid - a melting pot of electricity sourced from renewable and non-renewable sources. However, for every unit of electricity their customers use, Co-op Energy guarantee to generate or buy and put back an equal amount into the grid that was renewably-sourced.
As renewable energy generation and usage increases in the future, the percentage of renewable electricity customers receive from the grid will increase. Therefore Co-op Energy and other suppliers are helping to increase the renewable portion of the UK’s electricity.
Co-op Energy Prices & Tariffs
Co-op Energy offer various tariffs including variable, fixed and prepayment options including:
- Green Pioneer - Variable tariff, montly direct debit
- Green Pioneer Quarterly Billing
- Co-op Fixed February 20 - Fixed prices until Feb 2020
- Co-op Green Prepayment - Green electricity on a prepay tariff
- Co-op Safe and Secure - Exclusively for warm home discount customers
To help us compare against other green suppliers, let's take a look at an example tariff and Co-op Energy's prices for a typical 3 bedroom home in London. This is based on the UK average annual energy usage of 3,100 kWh of electricity and 12,500 kWh of gas, on a monthly direct debit.
|Green Pioneer (Electricity)||Green Pioneer (Gas)|
|Type of tariff||Variable|
|Unit rate||15.97p per kWh||3.82p per kWh|
|Standing charge||22.33p per day||25.77p per day|
|Monthly cost||£123 per month|
|Total yearly cost (3 bed house London)||£1,486|
Prices correct as of January 2019
The sample quote above of £1,486 per year is one of the most expensive quotes we have received for a renewable supplier. Compare this price to companies such as Pure Planet (£926), Octopus Energy (£962) and Bulb (£1,109) and you can see choosing the Co-op could set you back hundreds of pounds more a year versus the UK's cheapest green suppliers.
For all your Co-op Energy enquiries, you can get in touch with the customer service team by phone, social media or by writing to them.
Co-op Energy Contact Number
For general customer enquiries call:0800 954 0693
Monday - Friday: 8am – 8pm
Saturday / Bank Holidays: 9am - 4pm
Warwick Technology Park
Warwick, CV34 6DA
Co-op Energy Login
Customers of Co-operative Energy can access their bills and account online in the portal area accessible via the Co-op Energy website. To access your account, click the button below to be taken to the login page.
Should you Switch to Co-op Energy?
If you’re interested in switching your gas and electricity to a renewable energy provider with outstanding customer service, excellent online account management and super cheap tariffs, then the Co-op are probably not the best choice.
Whilst some customers have had a positive experience with them, we've found that there are plenty of customers who think quite the opposite. At The Switch, we'd recommend looking at suppliers such as Tonik or Bulb instead.