Here are some common questions about The People’s Energy Company
How do I switch to People's Energy?
Click on ‘Get a Quote’. You will then be asked to enter your details. You will get the most accurate quote if you are able to tell us how much Gas and Electricity you use per year. You can find this amount on your bill from your current energy supplier.
How long does it take to switch?
It takes approximately 21 calendar days to switch you over.
I have accepted the quote, what happens now?
You are now properly signed up to switch – welcome, we are excited you are here!
We will now tell your current supplier that you want to join us.
If they don’t object, they will release your energy supply to us (this can happen on occasion but it is rare, nothing to worry about for now).
Once they have given their ‘yay’, we will send you a welcome pack. This pack will contain your login details and other important information.
We will also start pestering you for your meter read. It would be brilliant if you could send that back to us quickly, as this allows us to give you an accurate bill. That way you don’t have to pay for more energy than you use.
Why not give share ownership right away?
Bear with us on this one, as it requires a slightly technical answer…
Share ownership requires companies to keep a share register. The level of detail and complexity of this register depends on the type of company. It is far easier to maintain a share register for a Public Limited Company (PLC) than it is for a Private Limited Company (Ltd). We have sought legal advice on this and have found out that it would be a logistical nightmare to maintain a share register to the required standards for a large number of customers, as a Limited company. The bureaucracy would be colossal. We want to be able to focus on you, our customers – on the way we serve you and involve you, not on maintaining large complicated and bureaucratic data bases. The world doesn’t need another bureaucracy! In three years’ time we can change our legal structure which will allow us to give you shares in a simpler way – the structure and share details will be determined at a later. But… put an X in your diary – this is the time we will be sending out invitations for a fantastic party where we will hand out or first shares for free to our valued, loyal customers.
Why not become a PLC?
That would have been our first choice. But, it turns out you need to have traded as a Private Limited Company for two years and have £50,000 of issued share capital to become a PLC. So we can’t do it just yet but will have to wait a couple of years in order to qualify.
Are you Green?
We will provide 100% renewable electricity. Gas is a bit more complicated than electricity. We are committed to all round green energy and will work towards fully green gas too, although it will take a bit longer.
Are you providing business energy?
We will not be able to support businesses that use half hourly meter readings. This means we can’t offer energy to larger businesses. Some smaller businesses will have normal (hourly) meters, and we would be very happy to welcome you as a customer!
Will you be offering the Warm Homes Discount?
We are not (yet) a member of the Warm Home Discount scheme. It is a really important scheme though, and we will enter it as soon as we possibly can, to be able to offer the discount to those who need it. A company needs 250,000 customer accounts to qualify for the scheme. For obvious reasons we can’t say at this point exactly when we will reach that number – but go tell a few of your friends and family about us and we will get there sooner 🙂
When do we receive our share of the profits?
Our bean counter whizzes tell us that we will break even as a business in about 18 months time. We will then be focusing on building a robust and resilient business for a bit, until three years have passed. Exactly when we will be able to run a sustainable business and return shares will obviously depend on a lot of different factors that are hard to anticipate. But our clear intention is to begin returning your share to you by 2020.
How will these profits be paid back to us?
You will get your profit shares back in the form of an annual rebate. We will clarify for you before this time whether the rebate will be deducted off your bill or credited to your account – we are still working out what would work best. We also plan to offer you the option of donating your share of the profit to a homeless or fuel poverty charity. We will not return the shares as a dividend, as you would have to pay tax of the dividend. That just seems daft (although we are all for everyone taking on our fair part of the tax burden to keep society going)!
How will you split this profit between your customers?
This will be an equal share for everyone.
We asked several of our supporters what they preferred: Would those using more energy, or those having pledged more money to get this democratic company up and running get more profits back than those who haven’t pledged or use less energy? The answer was clear – the fairest way is to give an equal share to everyone, regardless of their usage or funding support in the start up phase. Giving an equal share helps us all support the more vulnerable people among us.
Can you supply pre-payment meters?
We cannot supply people on pre-payment meters for a period of time after we launch. We will change this as soon as we possibly can, but as it adds on an extra layer of complication, we have had to hold off for a little while until everything else is running smoothly. However, it does matter a lot to us that everyone gets equal opportunities to own their own company and share the profits. That’s why we want to supply to people with pre-payment meters as soon as we possibly can!
Why are you not a part of the Feed in Tariff's (FITSs) scheme?
This is a great scheme that allows domestic customers to install solar panels or other power generation units in their own homes and sell the power generated back to their supplier. As we grow, we plan to become a member of this scheme however the costs of this scheme are large. At this stage of this company we are unable to bear these costs.
If you are a member of Feed in Tariffs with your current supplier, you can still join us and keep selling your power back to old supplier.
How do your rewards work?
WE ARE NOT TAKING ON ANY NEW CROWDFUNDERS AT THE MOMENT
Here are a few examples of how our pledges work: –
If you choose to pledge, for instance, £100 then you will receive £120 back in free energy which equates to 20% over and above your pledge amount back as a reward.
If you choose to pledge, for example, £1,500 then we will give you two years of free energy in return for your money as a reward
All pledges will be applied to your monthly bill once we reach 20,000 live customers and we anticipate to reach this level at around 18 months. In addition, the rewards require you to remain a customer for the whole period of receiving the free energy.
For the £900, £1,500, £5,000 and £10,000 pledges, the reward of free energy is based on the average annual bill as defined by Ofgem. In 2016 this was £1,066. If your annual bill is larger than this, you will only get a rebate that is equivalent to the Ofgem average. If your annual bill is lower than this then we would recommend pledging the amount that best suits your annual spend. Some people choose to pledge two or more of the smaller pledges in order to make sure they get a reward that is relevant to their spend.
How will this free energy be returned to me?
We are still working on finalising the exact details of this return but expect that this will be repaid back to you via direct debit.