A new energy company that promises to return profits to customers has been launched in Edinburgh.

Our Energy has been launched by energy industry veteran David Pike and is chaired by former Gleneagles chairman Peter Lederer, who said UK consumers have “been at the mercy of the big six for too long”.

The company aims to take on these ‘big six’ energy suppliers by offering customers 75 per cent of profits, free shares and a say in the future of the business to its customers.

It plans to raise £10,000 from a crowdfunding imitative to obtain a licence from energy regulator Ofgem to supply gas and electricity to domestic premises.

Private investors have committed £70,000 but Our Energy has turned to crowdfunding for its next round, because it has a long-term strategy to provide long-term returns, rather than come under pressure as private equity investors seek an early, profitable exit.

In its first year, Our Energy will limit the number of customers to 30,000. After three years customers will receive shares in the business as part of a transparent pledge.

In addition to being held accountable by customers, directors will share decisions, accounts, salaries and wholesale energy costs with customers.

Mr Pike said: “UK consumers have quite rightly lost trust in their energy suppliers. Why should we all pay higher prices just to line a shareholder’s pocket? Our Energy will bring democracy and transparency to the UK’s energy market.

“Our customers will enjoy the profits, in three years they’ll own the majority of the company and they’ll never have to switch energy supplier again, because they will always have the best deal.”

Its two tariffs will enable customers to choose exclusively from renewable energy providers, or choose the cheapest rate available.

Our Energy aims to be operational by 2017.