A ‘power couple’ fed up with the high prices charged by energy firms have successfully launched their own provider.

Fed up with high energy prices David Pike, 53 and Karin Sode, 47, decided to start People’s Energy - a publicly-owned energy company.

The couple raised nearly £500,000 via crowd funding to get the company off the ground.

And now it has opened its door for business, with more than 4,500 pre-registered customers already.

It claims to be the first completely customer-focused and transparent energy company in the UK, sharing salaries, decisions, accounts, and prices with customers.

Over the next few weeks, new users will begin to receive gas and electricity from People’s Energy across the UK as the company begins trading.

It is a significant milestone for the ethically-minded energy firm which has pledged to return 75 per cent of its profits in an annual rebate.

In the last year the couple, from Gullane, East Lothian, have raised funds, secured an Ofgem license, won an entrepreneurial and innovation award, and built a team, based in Musselburgh, to deliver the business.

Mr Pike said the response from the public so far has been amazing.

Speaking about the company’s launch, he said: “We have received thousands of calls in the last few days. Our telephone staff have been completely overwhelmed.

“People are just telling us how glad they are we are doing this.

“I don’t know if it’s gratitude from people who are thinking finally someone is taking on the big six.”

The aim is to put one million people in charge of their own energy by 2024 and provide an alternative for customers who have lost trust in energy suppliers.

The couple said they want to keep their customers year after year and will provide free shares to those that remain with the company.

Mr Pike, who previously worked with EDF Energy and Scottish Power said: “Energy belongs to no one, we all need this resource.

“And all should benefit from it, not just a few greedy shareholders.”

The hope is that owning your own energy will become a “no brainer” for people.

“We want people to be moaning to their friends about how expensive their bills are, and for them to say I own my own energy, don’t you?

“We will manage it on people’s behalf on a day to day basis but we want it to feel like this is their company.

The initiative is being backed by a number of senior business figures.

Former chair of Gleneagles Hotel, Peter Lederer CBE and former CEO of the Clydesdale and Yorkshire Banks, John Wright have both got behind the company.

Mr Lederer is chairman of the board and Mr Wright a senior advisor to the board.

Ms Sode, a former management consultant, added: “We offer customers a genuine opportunity to shape the direction of the company.

“And unlike others in our industry, the customer will be at the heart of everything we do - in actions, not just words.

“That’s why we offer transparency and share the profits.

“We believe that people have the right to be treated with respect, as owners of their own energy and of the company.

“We are seeing people recommending this approach to others, and the pre-registrations have been rolling in.

“We have big plans and are excited to be offering something very different to the market.”

People’s Energy has vowed to only supply energy from renewable sources in a bid to cut down on the damage to the environment.

Ms Sode added: “We only buy green energy so all of our power will come from renewable sources. It is really the only way to go these days.”