News & Insight

Couple ask for money to start a transparent energy company

Max White

Crowdfunding a firm to rival the Big Six, who overcharge and undervalue customers

Fed up with the Big Six energy firms, Scottish couple David Pike and Karin Sode are using crowdfunding to start their own energy company.

They say that service provision from the likes of EDF and Scottish Power simply isn't good enough. And like the farmer building her own broadband network, the couple are taking matters into their own hands.

Having already raised £18,000 in initial fundraising efforts, they’ve set out to raise £450,000 through means of crowdfunding to make the electricity and gas company operational by the end of the year.

Completely transparent

They say that transparency will be at the heart of Our Energy.

It will have customer representation on its board and 75% of profits will be given back to customers.

The pair wanted to give power back to the people after being shocked by the industry regulator’s recent findings.

Ofgem found that 60% of customers hadn’t switched suppliers for years and remained on standard variable tariffs, which were considerably more expensive than the cheapest deals available to them.

Between them, the Big Six were overcharging about 19 million customers.

An industry on the brink of an outage

Amid stories about scandalous pricing and growing distrust of energy firms, last year Ofgem found that energy suppliers had dropped customer complaints standards too.

Despite the total number of complaints being made having halved since 2014, last year more than 40% of complainants had cases closed by their supplier which they themselves considered unresolved.

Who will step up?

It isn’t up to disgruntled couples to make a change in the energy industry, but a shake-up has to come from somewhere.

Like individuals, families and households, the small businesses of the UK suffer from poor energy provision too.

But not for long, because XLN Energy is coming soon…