Newly appointed Co-op Power Managing Director calls for co-operation to re-build the energy sector

24 September 2021

Scott Etherington - Headshot

  • Scott Etherington, Former Finance Director of Co-op’s wholesale business Nisa Retail Limited, joins Co-op Power to continue its growth journey
  • Co-op Power’s new Managing Director calls for industry to tear up the rule book and rebuild a strong, stable, home-grown renewable energy sector
  • Etherington credits the buying group’s co-operative procurement model for being able to protect their customers from the shock of the current energy market
  • The energy buying group recently won Third Party Intermediary of the Year (Under 50 Employees) at the Energy Awards 2021

The newly appointed Managing Director of Co-op Power, Scott Etherington, has called for more co-operation to re-build the energy sector. Etherington replaces David Roberts as head of the largest energy buying group in the country, boasting over 70 members and over £200m of buying power per year.

Etherington’s appointment comes as the energy market is experiencing a global escalation of gas and electricity prices. Gas levels in storage, replenished in summer for use over winter, are lower than usual for the time of year.

Scott said: “As competition for renewables hots up and supply is less readily available, we’ve seen the market become more volatile. Because of our combined buying power, long forward hedging, risk management, and co-operative sharing of benefits, Co-op Power is able to give significant protection to our customers, not just this year, but into 2022 as well.

“If prices were to remain as they are, Co-op Power has saved the Co-op and our Co-op Power customers £37m of energy cost in 2022, and £9m in 2023. That’s a hit that’s seen businesses go under this week. These are not one-off isolated price rise incidents. This is foretelling for the future and highlights the need for businesses, Government and the energy industry at large to co-operate on a global scale, tear up the rule book and rebuild a strong, stable, home-grown renewable energy sector that’s fair, sustainable, and transparent.

“I think we have an amazing opportunity to play our part in transforming the energy market, continuing to raise the bar in green standards, as we all progress towards Net Zero. Fundamentally, we need a different model. We can’t compete our way to green, we can only co-operate our way there. I’m looking forward to leading a part of the Co-op that goes right to the heart of our vision of Co-operating for a Fairer World.”

Etherington joins Co-op Power from his previous role in the Co-op as Finance Director of Co-op’s wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited, where he had full oversight of financial activities. The appointment follows a long-established career in finance roles for Co-op, Tesco, and GlaxoSmithKline.

As part of Co-op’s ten-point climate plan to achieve net zero carbon emission by 2040, the ambition for Co-op Power is to transform the energy market with transparency and co-operation. Expanding the amount of green energy services, it provides to a growing number of UK businesses and suppliers.

On Etherington’s appointment, Jo Whitfield, Co-op Food CEO, said: “We’re really pleased to have Scott join Co-op Power and support our growth journey as we look to achieve the targets we set out earlier this year in our ten-point plan.

Scott brings a wealth of knowledge and we’re confident that with Scott as our Managing Director, we’ll be able to promote ethical and sustainable practices that can help build the UK’s renewable energy capacity and help tackle the global climate crisis. Whilst also delivering significant financial, environmental and social benefits to our Co-op Power members.” 

The energy buying group also recently won Third Party Intermediary of the Year (Under 50 Employees) at the Energy Awards 2021. The judges at the Energy Awards 2021 said Co-op Power had demonstrated excellent customer service, offering a complete power and environmental offer with clear client benefits.

Energy awards

ENDS

Notes to Editors

For more information, please contact: Elliott Lancaster | Press Officer | elliott.lancaster@coop.co.uk | 07808 609 944

About Co-op

The Co-op is one of the world’s largest consumer co-operatives with interests across food, funerals, insurance and legal services. Owned by over 4 million UK consumers, the Co-op operates 2,600 food stores, over 800 funeral homes and provides products to over 5,100 other stores, including those run by independent co-operative societies and through its wholesale business, Nisa Retail Limited.  

Employing over 60,000 people, the Co-op has an annual turnover of £10 billion. As well as having clear financial and operational objectives, the Co-op is a recognised leader for its social goals and community-led programmes. The Co-op exists to meet members’ needs and stand up for the things they believe in.

About Co-op Power

Co-op Power is a unique energy buying group you can trust. Combining buying power to demand better value has always been at the heart of the Co-op movement. By working together and pooling our energy buying with other organisations, we can negotiate the best value for energy, plus a wide range of fantastic terms and benefits that only a handful of companies in the UK can achieve.

Alongside substantially cheaper bills, we offer fixed and flexible contracts, fair and transparent fees, accurate billing and insightful reporting. We can help you reach your sustainability goals too, by only procuring 100% REGO certified renewable energy and advising you on ways to save energy across your operations.

For more information, visit: www.coop.co.uk/power

As part of its commitment to zero carbon, the Co-op has developed five wind farms across the UK and has already cut its direct carbon impact by 50%. Co-op has also committed to reducing its direct greenhouse gas emissions by a further 50%, and its product related emissions to 11% by 2025. Co-op Power will be looking to co-operate at scale and work together with other businesses, including their supply chain, in a bid to cut both costs and carbon.