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Bucking the trend

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On the day British Gas customers will be hit by above-inflation price hikes for gas and electricity, Co-operative Energy has announced it will cut its electricity prices by 2% on 21 December.

In the last month, five of the ‘big six’ energy companies announced price increases of between 6%- 11%. Co-operative Energy was the only supplier to freeze prices this winter, £88 cheaper than the average big six standard tariff for online direct debit and £178 cheaper for offline quarterly credit.

Co-operative Energy’s Nigel Mason said: “Our customers’ interests come first. Unlike our competitors we are not driven by a need to make profits for external stakeholders and we pledge to offer a fair and transparent price for all our customers. Wholesale electricity costs have come down and we were keen to ensure this was reflected in customers’ bills as soon as possible.

“Trust is at the heart of the co-operative. At a time when the image of the energy market is being further tarnished with allegations of manipulation of wholesale gas prices, big six price increases and reports from Ofgem that suppliers’ profit margins are increasing, we need to show that we’re doing all we can to put customers first, build trust and restore faith, which is why we’ve passed on savings and are distributing £105,000 to our customers this month as a half yearly share of profit.”

Over 60,000 households have switched to Co-operative Energy in its first eighteen months and the company has said this price decrease, which will take effect from 21 December 2012, will make its electricity prices for winter 2012/13 lower than for winter 2011/12.

Executive director at Which, Richard Lloyd, said: ““Rising energy prices are one of consumers’ top concerns, so this is welcome news from The Co-operative Energy at a time when millions of household budgets are squeezed. Customers being hit hard by big suppliers’ price rises should now ask why it is that The Co-operative Energy can buck the trend.” Indeed.

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