Our Power

Amount Given:

£500,000 over six years (made in 2016)

Priority:

Social change

Place – revitalising community life

 

Our Power


Christine Chang,

Social Investment Fund Manager, Esmée Fairbairn Foundation

 

We made this social investment because Our Power is a pioneer in the energy provider space.  A social business set up by housing association providers that is attempting to be a competitor in a market that’s currently dominated by six big energy providers.  Their aim is to tackle the issue of fuel poverty experienced by millions of people in the UK by passing on cost savings to consumers.  People on low incomes tend to use prepayment meters for their energy because it’s a way for them to avoid being overdrawn, or because they don’t have bank accounts to pay by direct debt.  Prepayment customers are not a well-served part of the market, and they are required to pay a premium for their energy as opposed to direct debit consumers.  Our Power offer rates to prepayment customers that are on par with those on direct debit, alleviating the poverty premium, i.e. the premium poor people have to pay for goods and services.


Dawn Muspratt,

Founding Chief Executive, Our Power

 

Our Power has been set up by social housing providers in Scotland to reduce levels of fuel poverty by operating in the energy sector. One of the ways we do this is by being a fully licensed energy supply company offering lower cost energy to fuel poor and low income households. We entered the market as one of the lowest cost prepayment suppliers in Scotland and did not vary our tariffs for over 12 months. For people living in fuel poverty, and particularly using a prepayment meter, life can be very hard and people will cut themselves off if they do not have enough money to pay for their energy.  This can have significant health and well-being impacts and is a situation that has gone on for too long. Our Power will have a supply service throughout the UK in 2017.

Our Power has received an investment from Esmée Fairbairn Foundation and we will use this funding to grow the business. It will support us bringing on board more customers which in turn means that we can keep our prices as low as possible. The investment will also support us extending our customer base so that we can have as big an impact as possible.  

Over the term of the investment, we hope to bring down the cost of energy to over 100,000 low income households and to help reduce levels of fuel poverty for our communities.

We have a focus on delivering excellent customer service and coming up with solutions that will really help our customers to lower their energy consumption while improving their quality of life.


Customer Testimonial:
 

"At the end of our Board meeting yesterday one of our tenant Board members asked to speak to me. She wanted to share how happy she was with the service and responsiveness she had received from OurPower as she has transferred her electricity supply. It feels like it is only a short time since I gave her OurPower contact details!"

"Easiest switch ever, you don’t have to do anything. I’ve saved £10 over the last three weeks which means I’m on track to save over £100 this year. And I’ve still got electricity left on my meter!"

"In the short time I have been with Our Power I am already noticing that the credit on my prepayment meter is lasting much longer than what it did with my previous supplier, this is much more than I had anticipated any saving would be."