East Lothian couple set up own power company
An East Lothian couple who, tired of the Big Six energy providers, set up their own gas and electricity company have begun signing up customers.
The People's Energy promises to return profits to its customers in a more transparent, ethical way of working.
However, energy analysts warn it is a difficult market and other small suppliers have failed in the past.
David Pike and Karin Sode, from Gullane, said the firm would give 75% of profits back to customers.
One year on after being set up with support from crowdfunding, the People's Energy Company has received its licence from Ofgem.
It can start registering customers now to supply gas and electricity across Britain from August.
One energy analyst has warned there are risks especially when wholesale energy prices rise.
Mr Sode, said: "The vision for People's Energy is to have over one million customers, all of whom are in control of their gas and electricity and getting a percentage of the company's profits back.
"Our company is about putting trust back into the market, currently there is very little. We want our customers to know that we have their best interests at heart and that with us they will have a say in how the company is run."
Mrs Sode said: "Energy comes from natural resources that should belong to us all, not private entities. We are absolutely passionate about returning ownership of this natural resource to consumers."
To date the duo has raised over £450,000 on Crowdfunder from the pledges of 2,000 supporters. People's Energy will start providing energy from the beginning of August.
David Hunter, Schneider Electric director of market studies, said: "When the wholesale markets are volatile particularly when they start to rise after a period of decreases then there have been cases of independent suppliers like GB Energy supply going to the wall and that ultimately means you need to find a new supplier.
"So you should be aware of the risks, especially if you're talking about getting free shares in the company."