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Save money on your energy bills

Monday 19 November 2012

Area: All areas

Householders could save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills after Wiltshire Council joins the UK’s largest collective energy switching scheme.

The bulk-buying project will enable every household in Wiltshire to join with other communities in the UK and become a single unit to negotiate cheaper energy bills. It is expected residents could see energy savings of between £60 to £200 a year.

The initiative is the largest and most inclusive of its kind in the UK. In total 14 local authorities will join together as part of the collective lead by Peterborough City Council.

Residents can now register their interest in being part of the switching scheme by visiting the ready to switch website  People can register their details free of charge, giving their current energy usage figures for gas and electricity.

The cut-off date for registration is 29 January 2013. However the scheme will re-open for new applicants for extra auctions throughout 2013.

In response to rising energy prices and increasing numbers of households in fuel poverty, the scheme will also be the first in the UK to allow residents who use pre-payment meters to register.

The scheme will also be the first in the UK to invite small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to take part.

Cabinet member for the environment, Toby Sturgis, said:

“We’re really pleased to be part of this unique scheme and it’s a perfect time for it to launch. As energy bills increase and the cold weather approaches, I encourage residents to look at what’s on offer from this scheme and see what benefits can be had.”

Additional information:

Pre-payment customers who are in debt to their energy supplier of more than £500 are prevented from switching suppliers (as of 1 November 2012) and therefore will not be able to join the Collective Energy Switching scheme. These regulations are enforced by Ofgem.

The first major collective energy switching scheme in the UK took place in June this year and was organised by Which? Some 37,000 customers who switched using this scheme saved on average £223 per household.

Collective switching started in Holland and Belgium in 2008. To date over one million customers have switched using this initiative to get cheaper energy.

The first collective energy switching scheme run by a local authority – South Lakeland District Council – has reported that residents signed up have seen savings of between £60 and £200 per household.

The scheme will work by means of a reverse auction run by the company ICHOOSR, which run collective schemes across Europe, where energy suppliers will be invited to bid the lowest price to supply the energy to all those signed up for the scheme.Residents will then be sent an offer to switch provider and accept their new energy rates. There is no obligation to accept the offer.

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Last updated: Monday 19 November 2012

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