Fairer Power to the People

16 March 2015

Cheshire East Council makes history becoming UK’s first community energy supplier in over 60 years

  • Over 500 locals already registered interest to switch to Fairerpower
  • Average saving per household could be as much as £250*

Monday 16 MARCH 2015: Today, the first community energy supplier in over 60 years opens for business marking a seismic shift in the UK Energy market. Fairerpower has launched as part of a ground-breaking new partnership between Cheshire East Council and OVO Energy.

The initiative, which is openly supported by the Chancellor of the Exchequer and MP for Tatton, the Right Honourable, George Osborne is expected to save local residents up to £250 per year on their energy bills.

Remarking on the announcement George Osborne said:

“I welcome the partnership between Cheshire East Council and OVO. More choice for local people means competitive prices. I would strongly encourage my constituents to see how much they can save by switching their energy supplier.”

Stephen Fitzpatrick, founder and CEO, OVO Energy, says:

“The UK energy retail market needs to change to work for its customers, not against them. More and more people are waking up to the fact that their loyalty to the old suppliers is being punished not rewarded, and that just by switching they can save hundreds of pounds.

“We want to make sure that when customers do switch, they not only save money, but that they can really trust their new provider to give them a fair deal. That’s the whole idea of OVO Communities – empowering trusted local bodies (who really understand and uphold the interests of residents) to mount their own challenge to the big utilities.”

Cheshire East Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones, said today:

“This is a UK first and yet another innovation for Cheshire East Council which will have a direct financial benefit for residents. This isn’t a money making exercise for us, we’ve got a real opportunity to deliver affordable energy for locals and we’re proud to be leading the way.

“We hope other Local Authorities will follow us in the future, in turn helping more people in the UK to switch to a local provider and save money.”

Fairerpower will launch with a headline price of £948** and offer no exit fees***, a 3% interest reward**** on all credit balances and be exclusive to residents in that region.

The partnership is part of OVO Energy’s plan to democratise the energy market and increase innovation, and is the first local partnership to go live, with Peterborough Energy and Southend-on-Sea council following hot on their heels. Community energy groups Plymouth Energy Community and Community Energy South have also registered a memorandum of understanding to partner.

Craig Morley, MD of OVO Communities added: “Our partnership with Cheshire East Council will help ensure local people get access to more choices and better value energy from a brand they know and trust. Locals could save up to £250 by switching away from a standard Big Six tariff to Fairerpower.”


Gemma Pryor | Corporate Communications Lead | 07968318149
Shula Smith | Head of PR and Communications | 07863342317


* Fairerpower’s 12-month fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3200 kWhs elec. and 13500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit and without online discount. Comparisons made against British Gas’ “(Standard) Variable” tariff for a non-economy-7, dual fuel medium user (as above) paying by monthly direct debit and without online discount. Cheaper tariffs may be available. 44% of customers in the Fairerpower region are with British Gas (Quarterly Domestic Energy Customer Numbers September 2014, Department of Energy and Climate Change) and between 50%-90% of customers with the Big Six (including British Gas) are on standard variable tariffs. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier and tariff, Fairerpower tariff options, consumption and location. You will have 14 days to cancel your contract.

** £948 is the annual cost of Fairer Power’s tariff for a dual-fuel medium user (3200 kWh electricity, 13,500 kWh gas) paying in advance by any payment method and VAT, when averaged over the regions in which that tariff is available. Effective 16/03/2015.

*** Exit fees are not payable when you leave Fairerpower, but you may be charged a fee to switch between Fairerpower tariffs. Terms apply.

**** Calculated at 3%/yr, paid monthly based on number of days in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. OVO Interest Reward is capped at 12 times the amount of the current direct debit amount and is available to customers paying by advance direct debit. Terms apply.

OVO has invested significantly in scalable systems that will give community groups, local authorities and housing associations all the tools they need to run a utility business including customer service, billing, trading, and power generation. The company will also offer advanced smart metering, power purchasing and energy efficiency installations as part of its new platform.

All OVO Communities partnerships are subject to final legal and regulatory approvals as appropriate.

You Gov research earlier this year revealed that three times more people believe they would get a fairer deal from a local community energy supplier than a big energy company, proving that community energy solutions are the future.

OVO Communities is an ‘out of the box’ solution for local organisations which want to cut out the middle man and become an energy company themselves – from supply and generation, to smart technology and energy efficiency. OVO’s aim is to set up 100 community energy supplier partnerships across the country, ultimately serving over a million customers.

About Cheshire East Council

Cheshire East Council is the third largest unitary authority in the North West of England after Manchester and Liverpool. It has a population of 370,100 and covers 450 square miles. The borough was established in April 2009 as part of the structural changes to local government in England, by virtue of an order under the Local Government Act 2007. It was formed from an amalgamation of the boroughs of Macclesfield, Congleton and Crewe and Nantwich, and its council took over the functions of the Cheshire County Council within its territory. It employs 5,500 people and its headquarters is based in Westfields, Sandbach.

About OVO Energy

OVO Energy - Britain’s 10th fastest-growing private company - is one of the leading independent suppliers in the UK retail market. Since it entered the market in 2009, it’s grown to 450,000 customers and created over 750 jobs.

OVO’s guiding principles are simplicity, transparency and fairness in all of its operations: make the energy industry easier for consumers to understand and make sure prices reflect the actual cost of doing business so customers know they’re getting a good deal.