The ethical energy supplier Co-operative Energy has announced its intention to increase the price of its gas and electricity by 4.5%. It added that this represented just half of the real cost the business is facing.
The Co-op said that the increase will apply initially to new customers who sign up on or after October 21, and to old ones from January 2014. Ramsay Dunning, manager of Co-operative Energy, said that being a customer-owned business, they wanted to make sure the burden on its 150,000 clients was as low as possible.
“Due to increasing energy market costs beyond our control, namely the costs associated with buying energy and getting it into customers’ homes, we find ourselves in the position of having to now pass these costs on to our customers”, he said.
“To demonstrate our commitment to our customers we have decided to effectively go halves and absorb the remaining cost.”
Co-op stressed that their deal is still fairer than what is offered by the big six. It said that a Co-op dual fuel customer saves £87 on the annual energy bill compared to a similar tariff with British Gas.
Dunning said, “Last autumn, when the major suppliers increased their prices by, on average, 8.5% for gas and 8.3% for electricity, we were the only supplier to cut our electricity prices and the only supplier to promise to freeze all our prices throughout the cold winter months when consumers use most energy.
“Whilst we can’t promise a lengthy freeze as we have done previously, we do promise to hold our prices for existing customers for as long as we possibly can.”
It’s expected that the four other suppliers that make up the big six – Npower, E.ON, EDF and Scottish Power – will follow suit in the coming weeks.