People’s Energy is a green and ethical energy company based in Edinburgh. A social enterprise and the only Community Interest Energy Supplier in the UK, the company is firmly focused on tackling fuel poverty, not profiteering.
Founded in 2017, People’s Energy now serves 180,000 members and has just expanded into new offices in Selkirk in the Scottish Borders – creating 100 jobs at a time when so many companies are laying people off.
People’s Energy became #ORBMembers in their very early stages of development. The blog we featured in April 2018 explains more about the company and its Community Partnership Scheme.
All electricity supplied by the company is 100% renewable, and they promise to return 75% of profits to their members in the form of a rebate. So, if you are thinking of changing your energy supplier, People’s Energy is the place to start looking!
In this blog, Co-Founder and Director Karin Sode focuses on how People’s Energy is supporting staff and members through the Covid-19 pandemic, including lobbying the Government for change.
Supporting Our Staff
Our team has been working from home for the last five months. We’re now starting to plan how we might return to the office safely but it’s going to be a while before we return to ‘business as usual’, if we ever do. To support our team during this difficult time we’ve subscribed to the Headspace App so everyone has access. A senior member of the team runs twice weekly mindfulness sessions. And we provide access to free and confidential access to a highly trained external counsellor to anyone who wants it. Feedback from staff has been good – they tell us they feel supported and cared for.
Supporting our Members
Our response to the Covid-19 crisis in March 2020 was swift and decisive. We set up the People’s Energy COVID Community Fund, kickstarted with donations from staff.
Support from customers and others raised over £76,000 (at the time of writing in August 20), including £15,000 match-funded by People’s Energy.
The money raised supports customers unable to meet their energy bills because of financial hardship caused by the pandemic. We have been humbled by the generosity and kindness of our community in supporting those in need during this crisis.
Lobbying Government for Change
At the same time, we created a Change.org petition calling on the government to create an energy grant fund for those in financial distress. We asked the UK Governments to help people unable to pay their energy bills because of financial hardship caused by the Covid-19 crisis. It’s been signed by nearly 10,000 people. Please do add your signature today!
The petition resulted in our executive team being invited to talk with the Minister of State at the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. And a motion about the COVID Community Fund was read in the Scottish parliament.
Our proposals received a sympathetic hearing but to date no action to support energy consumers directly has been taken. We’re continuing the fight for energy justice by talking to members of the opposition and we will take direct action where we feel we can make a difference.
We have a clear mission to be an ethical and fair company, focusing on people before profits. Since founding the company, our social conscience has only strengthened. Our drive to have a real impact on people’s lives and on the communities we serve has grown stronger. Our commitment to the right thing ‘with the people, for the people’, has intensified hugely.