Not-for-profit energy supplier Our Power said it intends to reduce levels of fuel poverty and create 200 jobs in areas of high unemployment after securing more than £4.4 million in funding.
The social enterprise based in Edinburgh raised the money from 301 investors in just 64 days, including an investment of £1.5m from Big Society Capital.
Owned by social housing providers, community organisations and local authorities, the company aims to offer more affordable and fairer energy to those living in fuel poverty.
Alister Steele, chair and co-founder of Our Power, said: “Hitting our funding target is a tremendous show of confidence in our fairer approach to providing energy.
“We can go further than simply lowering bills – and we’ve deliberately set ambitious targets to help us transform how people think about energy. We’ll create jobs where they’re needed most, grow the business to £100m turnover, achieve profitability by 2021 and be positioned as an influential player in the GB energy and social enterprise sector.
“This funding is a significant step forward in helping us achieve these ambitious business plan goals.”
Launched in 2016 by social housing providers which includes housing associations and local authorities, Our Power was set up as a social enterprise with the aim of providing fair, affordable, clean and secure energy for all customers, while removing discrimination and poverty from the energy sector. Unlike other providers, customers on Pay As You Go or Direct Debit pay the same competitive tariff.
The actor Michael Sheen – best known for portraying Brian Clough in The Damned United and Tony Blair – and patron of Social Enterprise UK, supported Our Power with its bond. After visiting Our Power, he said: “Spending time with the team at Our Power was a highlight of my trip visiting social enterprises in Scotland. Their team, their journey and their ambitious plans are a real inspiration.
“Their balance of commercial and social is really impressive, and exactly what I think a social business model should be striving for in this area: taking risks and pushing for a fairer and more affordable energy provision.”
Our Power Energy Supply is a fully licensed gas and electricity supply business, regulated by Ofgem and launched to the market in August 2016.