Name The Co-operative Energy (Midcounties Co-operative)
Headquarters Warwick, England
Co-operative Energy is a 100% Renewable Energy supplier that was founded in 2010. It is part of Midcounties Co-operative, which includes supermarkets, insurance products, banking and utilities. It’s a consumer co-operative, meaning it is owned and managed directly by its members.
Cooperative Energy Login
If you are a new or existing Co-operative Energy customer, you can login to your online account by clicking the button we have provided below. If you forget your login information, you can click on the “Forgotten your username?” or “Forgotten your password?” buttons.
If you are a new customer to Co-op Energy, just click the button next to the “Not yet registered your account?” label. You may have to wait a little while until your account is ready for use, and you should receive an email that will advise you as to the readiness of your account.
If you’re searching for the login page yourself, be sure to search for “account.cooperativeenergy.coop” rather than the standard “.co.uk” or “.com”
Once you are logged into the online portal with your username and password, you will be able to do the following:
- Manage your bills
- See past usage details
- Submit meter readings
- Update your personal information
About Coop Utilities
Co-operative Energy was birthed from the British co-op, Midcounties Co-operative. Midcounties Co-op was formed in 2005 with the merger of the Oxford, Swindon and Gloucester Co-Operative Society with the West Midlands Co-operative Society. These local co-operatives have a long history in the UK, with routes dating back to the 1850s!
A co-op is an autonomous association of people voluntarily united to meet their common economic, social and cultural needs through a joint and democratically controlled business. As such, the company is technically owned by its members, each of whom receives part of the profits and have the ability to democratically control its operation.
The Midcounties Co-operative began supplying energy in 2010, making its way to a current 1% market share of the energy business. With over 250,000 customers, Co-operative Energy is one of the real contenders facing the Big Six.
In terms of customer service Co-operative Energy's performance is decidedly average.
CEO Ben Reid stated when pitching Co-operative Energy that its way of resolving customer issues was going to be much more transparent and easy than that of the Big Six: because it is a co-op, customers/members should be much more involved in the moulding of the business, allowing it to respond to the needs of its consumers.
In 2018 Co-operative Energy came 17 out of 31 energy companies in a Citizen's Advice poll. Generally, it is quite effective in dealing with billing issues. 90% of Co-op customers had an accurate bill in the last year and 98% of customers received their bill on time.
The company has also dealt with switches very well with 91% of switches completed before the industry-standard 21 day limit recommended by Ofgem. Customers have generally been quite happy with the switching process claiming that it was easy and problem free.
However, this hasn't always been the case and other aspects of the Co-operative's customer service have been much less positively judged.
In the recent past the company had many customer service problems that it still hasn’t quite managed to shake. From July - September 2015, Co-operative Energy was the most complained about energy company in the UK per 100,000 customers, and according to The Telegraph, Co-op was identified as the worst UK energy company for billing errors.
Luckily, things seem to be looking up for Co-operative and their rankings have increased somewhat since then. The company has reduced its call waiting time to 1.27 minutes on average and they only had 259 complaints out of 100,000 sent to the ombudsman.
It seems Co-operative has also managed to somewhat improve its customer service efforts since then. Several more recent reviews rank the company as “Excellent” and specifically mention positive interactions with the customer service team.
... Very friendly and helpful. Answered all my queries quickly and efficiently. Explained all tariffs for me. Excellent service."Useless customer service. Estimates for usage are extremely high. Too much wrong [...] to be bothered to write here. - Janet with Co-op Energy
While still far from exceptional, overall Co-op's more recent review stats have reflected the shift. On Trustpilot, which is known for negative reviews, Cooperative has managed to squeak out a not-dreadful 44%. A healthy majority (50%) of the reviews are still the lowest rating possible, but that is a dramatic improval from the almost 90% of “Bad” reviews in years past.
Which? Placed the company firmly in the middle of the pack in the 2018 UK energy customer survey, ranking them 16 out of 30 total energy suppliers.
Below are the respective reviews given from available websites and the amount of reviewers on each
However many customers are still very angry about the service they are receiving. Customers have a variety of complaints from requests for paper billing being ignored to rude customer service agents on the telephone.
Their customer handling and billing is a joke... their days are numbered. - Michael with Co-op Energy
However, it seems that the biggest problem by far has been customers who have been overcharged or had the price of their direct debits raised considerably without previous warning, leaving them in debt.
Co-operative Energy have a wide range of tariffs, which can be rather confusing to industry experts, not to mention for the average energy customer.
Co-op offers a number of fixed and variable tariffs, which are now all 100% renewable electricity tariffs. While they offer a wide variety, some of the most popular tariff options include the fixed tariff Co-op Exclusive Fixed May 20 and Co-op Community Power May 21, while variable options include Green Pioneer and Co-op Safe and Secure, among others.
The below table represents prices across the UK’s 13 regions for the Coop Fixed May 20 tariff.
|Region||Elec price per kWh||Elec yearly price||Elec standing charge||Elec TCR||Gas price per kWh||Gas yearly price||Gas standing charge||Gas TCR||Dual Fuel Yearly|
|North East EN||16.42p||£509.02||40.48p||21.19p||3.51p||£438.75||40.48p||18.92p||£947.77|
|North West EN||16.43p||£509.33||40.48p||21.20p||3.54p||£442.50||40.48p||19.04p||£951.83|
|Merseyside & N Wales||17.51p||£542.81||40.48p||22.28p||3.54p||£442.50||40.48p||19.04p||£985.31|
|South East EN||17.03p||£527.93||40.48p||21.80p||3.66p||£457.50||40.48p||19.52p||£985.43|
|South West EN||17.36p||£538.16||40.48p||22.13p||3.81p||£476.25||40.48p||20.13p||£1,014.41|
Last updated: April 2019
Like most of Co-operative’s offerings, its prices are firmly in the middle of the pack compared to other UK energy suppliers. While far from the most expensive, Co-op’s prices are also not very competitive.
The average 3 bedroom flat in London could save more than £260 per year by switching from the Coop Fixed May 20 to a cheaper tariff option.
Customers who get the Warm Home Discount can also take advantage of special tariffs which are only available for customers who are eligible for the scheme.
Like all energy companies in the UK, Co-operative Energy is required to submit details about its fuel mix. This is to put more emphasis on renewable energy generation across the industry.
While Co-op has always had a focus on renewable energy, green-conscious consumers will be thrilled to know that since March 2018 it has shifted to 100% renewable energy across all electricity tariffs. This obviously far-and-away exceeds the 29.04% renewable fuel national average in the UK.
Beyond that, Co-op also breaks down its renewable energy sources in detail, allowing us to see what percentage of electricity comes from fuel sources like solar panels, wind farms, biodegradable fuel and more. An impressive 55% comes from wind and solar power alone!
In addition to a 100% renewable electricity fuel mix, Co-op has put emphasis on tackling climate change throughout all operations. Its electricity produces 0 g/kWh of carbon dioxide, meaning electricity production is essentially carbon neutral.
As a commercial cooperative, Co-operative Energy allows members to have a say in its fuel mix and suggest other renewable energy products for Co-op to invest in with the User Chooser initiative. So far they’ve funded more than 5000 community energy products, helping the environment as well as local economies.
Co-operative Meter Readings
Customers should try to submit meter readings every month to Co-operative Energy in order to keep their bills as accurate as possible and avoid any unpleasant jumps in direct debit amounts.
You can submit your meter readings through the online portal or by telephone at 0800 093 7547.
Customers who are a member of Midcounties Co-operative can also get extra points for doing their meter readings. They can get 25 points per fuel they have contracted with the Co-op and 50 points for every meter reading that they do.
Taking a meter reading is easy, but can seem confusing if you’ve never done it before. If you’re unsure about the meter reading process, don’t worry, our meter reading guide has all the details.
Co-operative Energy has just begun running a smart meter trial for a proportion of its customers.
The Co-operative is trialling SMETS2 meters and so currently don't have a date for the complete rollout. This may worry some customers who want to have a smart meter installed as soon as possible.
However, the benefit of waiting a little longer is that a smart meter based on the SMETS2 standard is much more likely to be future-proof and be able to adopt new features as the technology develops.
The smart meters which are available at the moment, called SMETS1, generally only work as long as you stay with the supplier who installed them for you. If you move away to another supplier your meter will very likely revert back into a normal meter (or dumb meter) which means that you will have to go back to giving manual meter readings all over again.
In the long run, customers may experience more hassle if they switch to a smart meter, only to have to switch to a new model (the SMETS2) in the near future.
Originally the UK energy sector aimed at having smart meters in all homes by 2020, but as many firms, including Co-operative, are lagging behind, that has shifted to a more flexible target.
Co-op Mobile App
Co-operative Energy has an app specifically for prepayment customers called "Co-op Energy Smart Pay." It is for customers who have smart prepayment meters and allows customers to top up their prepayment meters without having to go to a PayPoint. The app stores your debit and top up card details so you don't have to retype them every time that you want to top up.
The app also sends you a receipt every time you top up so that you can keep track of your expenses.
While the app may be handy for some customers, it has fairly limited functionality compared to some of Co-op’s competitors’ smartphone apps.
End of Feed-in Tariff
Up to now, Co-operative has been offering a Feed-in, or FiT, tariff to its customers. Unfortunately for those hoping to save money by generating their own power, Ofgem has discontinued sign ups to the FiT scheme as of March 2019. This means that FiT tariffs are only available to residential consumers who successfully signed up before the end of March.
If you aren’t familiar with Feed-in Tariffs, the idea is to give money to customers who generate their own electricity with solar panels, as well as provide further payments for excess power that is exported to the national power grid. FiT was a government initiative started in 2010 to help boost small scale renewable power generation.
Because of the huge success of the scheme, funding has been stretched as more people than expected have installed panels in order to benefit from FiT tariffs. Because of that, Ofgem ultimately chose in 2018 to end the programme.
Already have a FiT tariff with Co-operative Energy? Don’t worry, existing FiT tariffs will be honoured, at least for the next few years. If you have recently invested in solar panels and were hoping to take advantage of the FiT scheme, we’re afraid you’re simply out of luck.
Warm Home Discount
Co-operative Energy offers the Warm Home Discount for its customers. They provide it for both the core group and the broader group.
Customers who are part of the core group are pensioners and will get the warm home discount automatically without having to do anything thanks to how the Department of Work and Pensions shares eligibility data with the energy sector.
People on universal credit, people with disabilities and those on low income can apply as part of the broader group. If you are part of one of these groups you will have to apply every year for the discount. There is no guarantee that it will be granted.
One way of making it more likely that you will be given the Warm Home Discount is by making sure you are on your supplier's priority register. This is a special list for customers who are more vulnerable and might need special assistance with things like reading meters.
Getting ready for a big move? If you’re moving into or out of a Co-op home you’ll need to contact Co-operative to ensure the move goes smoothly.
You can reach Co-op regarding your move via telephone at 0800 781 1605 or by submitting their online moving form.
Becoming a Member
Because Co-operative Energy is a co-op, the company is run by its members. They state that their members decide the organisation, profit share and investment of the company, which makes it a fully democratic company organisation. Anyone can become a member for just £1, which will return you points, dependent on how much you have spent within the society.
Although Co-op claims to share the 'profits' of the company, this does not mean that you will receive any form of cash dividend. You will instead receive vouchers and money towards your Co-operative products. These can include:
- Food vouchers for Co-operative supermarket chain
- Energy account credit
- Shares through the Midcounties Co-op
- Charity donations through the Midcounties Co-op
It is perhaps a wonder, though, that given its status as a co-op, which would suggest their inclination to help members, why Co-ops prices are far from the lowest in the country. Couple this with their attempt to rival the Big Six, and you have got a pretty problematic strategy.
If you would like to sign up to be a member of the Co-operative, you can click the link below:
|The Pros||The Cons|
|100% renewable electricity||Middle-of-the-road prices|
|Easy to understand bills||Inconsistent customer service|
|Democratic decision making/initiatives||Smart meters still in trial phase|
There are some things to love about Co-operative Energy. As a commercial cooperative, it is uniquely democratic in its structure and decision making compared to other energy suppliers. It also sports 100% renewable electricity tariffs and supports other environmental initiatives. It’s also been praised for easy to understand bills.
However, not everything that glitters is gold. Co-op also suffers from less-than-competitive prices, and customer service reviews that, while improved, still leave much to be desired. And with a smartphone app with limited functionality and smart meters unavailable to the majority of customers, Co-operative still has a long way to go.
Overall, even with a few strong points, we remain thoroughly unimpressed with Co-operative Energy. While Co-op is far from the worst in the market, other suppliers with 100% renewable energy like Octopus and Tonik Energy simply offer better prices combined with better service.