Energy start-up launched in UK to ‘help power Africa’

A new energy supplier has been launched to tackle two major problems: UK energy customers being “consistently overcharged” and people in poor nations such as Africa living without access to energy.

Manchester-based supplier, Brighter World, was set up as an ethical ‘buy-to-give’ business which promises to install a solar-powered micro-grid in an African village for every 2,000 UK customers it signs up.

Brighter World co-founder and chief executive Cheryl Latham said: “People in the UK are fed up of the same old story out of the energy industry, it really feels like Groundhog Day. We’re here for those conscious consumers who want a good deal, but also want to use the power of their purchase to do some fundamental good in the world.

“We won’t use price comparison sites or get caught up in a price war – that is not our style. But we will provide a competitive deal for our customers on their energy bills while also addressing a major global challenge.”

An image of the earth at night – which shows Africa in darkness while other countries shine bright with light, along with a trip to Kenya while still on her MBA course in May – prompted Latham to create her start-up. She pointed out that two-thirds of people in Africa are currently living without electricity.

“With more than a billion unconnected people around the world, making a simple switch here at home will turn on the lights for villages in Africa for the very first time. What’s more, we’ll connect our customers with the villages they powered and use impact reporting to show the difference you can make without changing your daily routine,” she said, adding that the company will “inject new energy into an industry that is not adapting to global energy needs”.