Calgary

Energy company vows to give half its profits to charity

A new electricity provider in Alberta is trying to encourage people to switch to them — by donating half of its profits to charity.
Sponsor Energy's Carolyn Martin says customers can log into their accounts to see how much of their electricity usage has gone to charity. (CBC)

A new electricity provider in Alberta is trying to encourage people to switch to them — by donating half of its profits to charity.

Sponsor Energy has partnered with 50 Alberta charities and customers will get to choose which one they support, said president Carolyn Martin.

"For every kilowatt hour used we donate 50 per cent of our profits and then, on top of that, the individual household or small commercial business can decide to pay an additional penny or two pennies to that charity," said Martin.

Inn From the Cold is one of the charities hoping to benefit from the partnership.

The shelter’s Bonnie Elgie says the charity will let supporters know about the new option.

"It has the potential to give us a very regular stream of support," said Elgie.

"It’s almost like monthly giving because there is a portion of every monthly bill that would come directly to Inn from the Cold or one of the other community partners."

Jim Wachowich, of the Consumers Coalition of Alberta, said he’s left wondering why supporters wouldn't rather just give directly to the charity.

"Why would the charity want their donations filtered through, in essence, the machinery of defining or determining the profits of these companies?"

Wachowich said people also have to consider whether locking into a contract is in their best interests.