Scottish couple to set up energy firm from crowdfunded campaign
16 January 2017
A couple in Scotland is setting up an energy firm to challenge the so-called Big Six providers using crowdfunding.
It is an attempt at setting up a new kind of company where customers would become owners of the firm Our Energy. The drive to raise cash started at midnight.
The firm does not have any shareholders and there was no pressure to pay out dividends, which meant prices should be lower.
The idea is the brainchild of David Pike, 52, a former engineer and Karin Snode, 46, who had a business background. Pike was also a consultant to the energy industry.
According to Pike and Snode, the idea came to them after they became ''fed up'' with the Big Six – British Gas, EDF Energy, Npower, EON UK, Scottish Power and SSE – who had faced intense criticism over pricing.
The two are leading their team to crowdfund £450,000 to make Our Energy, which would give 75 per cent of profits back to cut bills and customers would be represented on the board of directors.
Pike said, ''Why should we all pay higher prices just to line a shareholder's pocket? We want to bring democracy and transparency to the UK's energy market,'' the Daily Record reported in its online edition.
Our Energy has already raised over £18,000 from an initial crowdfunding drive – which shot past its original £10,000 target. They aim to raise £450,000 to get the company up and running by this spring.
The latest campaign is being supported by a number of business people, including Peter Lederer, the former chairman of Gleneagles Hotel and tourism body Visit Scotland.
According to Pike, people were sick of being ''exploited'' by the so-called Big Six and no longer trusted them.
Pike, who has earlier worked with EDF and ScottishPower, said the big energy companies ''won't change their tactics any time soon.''