New work for Borders
People’s Energy turns up heat on Big Six with 100 jobs
On a mission: Karin Sode
People’s Energy, a community-owned gas and electricity provider, is creating 100 jobs in the Borders as it turns up the heat on the big six suppliers.
Launched by married couple Karin Sode and David Pike in 2017, its mission was to eradicate fuel poverty by providing the cheapest possible energy via a social enterprise that would return 75% of profits to its members.
That year it raised £487,815 from 2,059 supporters in 199 days. The company received its Ofgem licence and began trading in August 2017.
It now has 180,000 customers across the UK and is the only community interest company energy supplier in the country.
The company employs 200 staff in Shawfair south of Edinburgh and in Musselburgh. The new jobs will be in Selkirk where 400 were recently lost when another challenger company Ovo Energy pulled out shortly after acquiring the retail business of SSE (formerly Scottish & Southern Energy).
People’s Energy is taking space at Ettrick Riverside Office Space in the town which is also a base for South of Scotland Enterprise, the new government-backed development agency.
SoSE’s chairman Professor Russel Griggs, said: “People’s Energy’s expansion into Selkirk and the potential of new jobs is fantastic news for the community.”
Mr Pike, who is CEO of People’s Energy, said: “We’re really excited about opening a new office in Selkirk as the next step in our journey towards eradicating fuel poverty in the UK.
“We’re especially pleased to be creating local employment during the current health and economic crisis, when so many jobs are being lost.
“From small beginnings three years ago, we’re now a rapidly growing gas and electricity supplier with a purpose.”
Rural Economy Secretary Fergus Ewing said: “The Scottish Government is committed to attracting new businesses to the region and developing the South of Scotland’s economy to its full potential.”
He said that by bringing jobs the area People’s Energy was helping to regenerate the local economy.