By Daniella Messer, Marketing and Communications Manager – Co-op Power

Even though Co-op Power has existed since 2003, there are probably many of you out there that might have heard about Co-op Power but don’t know that much about it! So, let me take you back to the beginning…

On 21 December 1844, at 8pm, the Rochdale Pioneers opened the doors of the first Co-op store on 31 Toad Lane; selling flour, oatmeal, sugar and butter. 

They’d wheelbarrowed the stock from Manchester by hand, which was carbon neutral, but hard work.

But they couldn’t turn the lights on. When the local gas company heard that a Co-op was renting the building, they cut the supply – leaving the Pioneers in the dark. 

So, candles were added to the list to light up the store, but also to sell to others. 

Fast forward to 2003. Back then, Co-op Power was established to procure ethically-sourced green electricity for the Co-op. Taking the lead on issues that matter the most is just what we do – so it’s no surprise we do this with our energy too. 

Now, we provide more than 40 organisations – from the likes of the National Trust and The Royal National Lifeboat Institution to Nationwide Building Society and Emirates Airlines – with our 100% renewable energy. 

As the pandemic continues, but green targets remain, we know we can help other businesses do the right thing. We’ve built up our expertise in helping other businesses save money and drive down their carbon footprint, now is the time to build on our momentum and set ourselves some ambitious growth plans. 

It’s been our point of difference since 1844 to combine our buying power and create value for our members, as a better way of doing business. By leveraging our energy buying power with other organisations, we can gain better value for all.

Here’s a short video from Steve Murrells sharing his hopes and ambitions for Co-op Power and how it supports our vision for a fairer and more sustainable world.

10 things you might not know about Co-op Power:

  1. We started with just one member. Us. We didn’t set out to create a buying group. As the Co-op we’re a major energy consumer with sizeable buying power. But more and more organisations saw the value our scale and expert buying teams delivered, asked if they could join us, and Co-op Power was born. 
  2. Today, Co-op Power is the largest co-operative energy buying group in the UK.
  3. Co-op Power provides 100% renewable energy to all of our Co-op properties including shops, depots, Funeralcare branches and our 1AS support centre. Think about that for a second. Every single lightbulb, radiator, laptop, fridge and oven our members use … fuelled by renewable energy. We think that’s amazing.
  4. We buy 2% of the UK’s wind energy. Each year we purchase 1.5TWh of renewable energy, which is enough to power 500,000 homes. 
  5. We also supply other Co-operatives and Co-op academies 
  6. We’ve developed five wind farms across the UK 
  7. As part of our commitment to zero carbon, we’ve already cut our carbon impact by 50%
  8. We’ve committed to reducing our direct greenhouse gas emissions by a further 50% and product related emissions to 11% by 2025
  9. We’ve saved our Co-op Power members over £100million in energy costs
  10. The Co-op have saved more than 165,000 tonnes of carbon in 2019 through Co-op Power

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