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Last updated: 8th December 2021
Co-op Energy Review Summary
Co-op Energy is part of Midcounties Co-operative and started supplying domestic energy consumers in 2011. In August 2019 they entered into a partnership with Octopus Energy. Like Octopus Energy, Co-op Energy supplies environmentally friendly energy.
- Supports community-led renewable energy projects
- Co-operative Society membership benefits
- Competitive pricing
- Very poor digital tools
- Take longer to answer the phone than their energy supply partner, Octopus Energy
- Score lower than Octopus Energy in customer satisfaction surveys
Who are Co-op Energy?
Co-op Energy is part of Midcounties Co-operative and started supplying domestic energy consumers in 2011. In August 2019 they entered into a partnership with Octopus Energy. The 300,000 Co-op Energy customers remained customers of Co-op Energy, but their energy was supplied by Octopus Energy from that point and Octopus Energy now provide the customer service for them.
Like Octopus Energy, Co-op Energy supplies environmentally friendly energy. However, Co-op Energy also supports a large number of community-led renewable energy projects. In total, they support over 80 renewable energy projects throughout the UK, including Sandford Hydro which generates enough energy to power the 1,200 people who live in Sandford-upon-Thames, Southill Solar, a community solar farm which powers 1,321 homes and the Westmill Wind and Solar Farm which powers over 4,500 homes.
Members of the Midcounties Co-operative can earn membership points by using Co-op Energy. These points give them a say in how Midcounties Co-operative is run as well as a share in Midcounties Co-operative’s profits.
Co-op Energy offer three tariffs.
One is a 12-month fixed rate tariff, with no exit fees if a customer chooses to leave before the end of the 12 month period. The second is a variable rate tariff.
The third tariff, called Co-op Community Power, is also a 12-month fixed rate tariff with no exit fees. However, the electricity supplied via this tariff comes from community run renewable energy projects and carbon offsetting is used to ensure that the gas supplied s carbon neutral as well.
Co-op Energy is a mandatory FiT provider to you can switch an existing ‘feed-in’ tariff to them. However, they do not offer a tariff designed for electric vehicle owners.
The partnership with Octopus Energy means that Co-op Energy customers now pay the same for their energy as Octopus Energy customers. Octopus Energy is one of the cheapest energy suppliers in the market.
Although Co-op Energy’s customer service is now provided by Octopus Energy, Co-op Energy do not perform as well as Octopus Energy in online reviews.
In the Which? customer satisfaction survey, Co-op Energy is in 9th place, whereas Octopus Energy takes the top position. It’s a similar story in the Citizen’s Advice customer satisfaction survey, with Octopus Energy taking 7th place with 3.95 out of five stars and Co-op Energy only managing 10th place with 3.75 out of five stars.
Co-op Energy also scores lower than Octopus Energy on TrustPilot, only scoring 4.2 out of five stars. However, many of the complaints on TrustPilot appear to relate to the transition period, with the more recent reviews being considerably more positive about them.
All of Co-op Energy’s electricity comes from renewable sources, and on one of their tariffs the electricity comes from community-led renewable energy projects. Co-op Energy also carbon offsets the gas supplied to customers who are on that tariff.
Co-op Energy’s customer service is provided by Octopus Energy who prefer electronic communication, including communication via social media. However, there is no live chat feature on the Co-op Energy website. Co-op Energy can be contacted electronically between 8am and 10pm, seven days a week.
There is also a freephone number for customers who prefer to use the phone, although Co-op Energy’s phone lines are only available between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Thursday, and 9am to 4pm on Friday.
Citizen’s Advice say that Co-Op Energy answer the phone in under two minutes which is a respectable response time, although they also say that Octopus Energy answers the phone around 30 seconds faster.
In terms of complaints, Co-op Energy has just 13.2 complaints per 10,000 customers which is fewer complaints than many of the other UK energy suppliers.
Co-op Energy’s website is essentially Octopus Energy’s website. The home page and a small number of the other pages have Co-op branding and Co-op specific information, but the rest of the website doesn’t even mention Co-op Energy. In fact, if you select “tariffs” from the website menu you are taken to Octopus Energy’s tariffs rather than Co-op Energy’s tariffs.
There is an online portal that lets you manage a house move, submit meter readings and change account details. You can also use it to view your account history and make one-off payments.
There is also an app, but it only lets you top-up a smart pre-payment meter and doesn’t do anything else. The app is compatible with Android and iOS devices. It only scores 1.6 out of five stars at Google’s Play Store and 2.3 out of five stars at Apples App Store.
Co-op Energy’s preferred payment method is direct debit, although there is no discount for payment by this method. Neither is there a discount for online billing.
If you pay by direct debit the payments are taken monthly, with the first payment being taken on the day that Co-op Energy start supplying your energy. You can change the amount that is taken each month if your meter readings show that you are using more of less energy than estimated.
You can also pay by bank transfer, cheque, credit or debit card, or via a PayPoint retailer. Pre-payment accounts are also available.
Co-op Energy offer smart meters, including to customers who are on pre-payment accounts.
Customers who already have a smart meter when they switch may find that their smart meter loses its smart functionality when they switch. If this happens, they will still be able to use their smart meter but they would need to submit meter readings manually.
Do Co-op Energy offer a recommend a friend referral scheme?
Octopus Energy offer a friend referral scheme, but Co-op Energy does not currently offer such a scheme.
Do they work with pre-payment meters?
Yes. Co-op Energy also offer smart meters to their pre-payment account customers.
Do they accept Economy 7?
Co-op Energy accept customers on Economy 7 tariffs.
Are they signed up to the Warm Home Discount?
Co-op Energy are signed up to the Warm Home Discount.
Are they signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee?
Co-op Energy are not signed up to the Energy Switch Guarantee, although their energy supply partner Octopus Energy are. However, according to Citizen’s Advice, 100% of switches to Co-op Energy are completed within 21 days.
Do they mention about the Priority Services Register?
Co-op Energy shares a Priority Services Register with Octopus Energy to help their vulnerable customers.
Do they offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount?
Co-op Energy does not offer a ‘Dual Fuel’ discount. They believe that their customers should not be penalised if they only buy one type of fuel from them.
Will they offer to pay a customer’s exit fees when they join them?
Co-op Energy will not pay any exit fees that have been charged by a customers previous energy supplier if they have left a fixed-rate tariff before it has ended. Any such exit fees will remain the responsibility of the customer.
Co-op Energy do not charge exit fees on any of their fixed-rate tariffs.
What happens if you move home whilst with them?
If you move home while you are a Co-op Energy customer, you need to let them know via their website. You can choose whether to close your Co-op Energy account or move it to your new home.
If you tell Co-op Energy 17 days before your move, they can start supplying your new home on the day that you move in. However, it isn’t a problem if you tell them later.
Do they offer any incentives for joining?
Midcounties Co-operative members receive membership points when they spend money with Co-op Energy or as rewards when they do things such as submitting regular meter readings.
These membership points entitle members to a share of Midcounties Co-operative’s profits. This profit share can be used to buy goods in Midcounties Co-operative stores, as credit on your Co-op Energy account, to save in your interest-earning Midcounties Co-operative share account or it can be donated to charity.
How to contact Co-op Energy
You can contact Co-op Energy in a number of ways. Below as part of our Co-op Energy review we’ve detailed all their means of contact:
Customer Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0808 164 1088
Office Hours: Monday to Thursday, 9am to 5pm. Friday, 9am to 4pm. Closed weekends
Office Address: 1 Upper James Street, Soho, London W1F 9DE
How do I switch to Co-op Energy?
The easiest way to switch to Co-op Energy is through a comparison website. This will allow you to check if Co-op Energy is one of the cheapest suppliers for you (tariffs vary based on your area) and will allow you to quickly and easily switch to them.