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22 November 2012, 05:52
People living in Waveney and Suffolk Coastal are getting the chance to try and cut their energy bills this winter.
It is hoped they could save as much as £200 a year by linking up with their district council to join the UK’s largest collective energy switching scheme.
The simple scheme, which will also be available to thousands of local small and medium sized businesses in the New Year, encourages householders to join forces with around one and a half million others across the country to negotiate cheaper energy bills.
The initiative is set to be the largest of its kind in the UK, with 12 councils coming together in response to rising energy prices and the increasing numbers of households finding themselves in fuel poverty. The scheme will also be the first in the UK to allow residents who use pre-payment meters to register.
"This scheme should mean a really great new year for many of our residents and local businesses,” said Cllr TJ Haworth, Suffolk Coastal’s Cabinet Member for Housing. “The power of this partnership will make energy companies compete to offer us the best possible deal and create real savings at a time of genuine need. We have worked hard to keep our Council Tax bills as low as possible and this scheme offers another real boost,” Added Cllr Haworth.
"This is an excellent example of councils working together to achieve a better deal for their communities and help them to cut their energy bills,” said Cllr Sue Allen, Waveney’s Cabinet Member for Housing. We have been at the forefront of encouraging people to make their homes warmer by installing measures such as loft or wall insulation, or modern heating systems, or new windows, and this new initiative could help many more people save money,” added Cllr Allen.
How does it work?
The scheme will work by means of a reverse auction 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 a no-obligation offer to switch provider and accept their new energy rates.
Residents can register TODAY by visiting www.readytoswitch.co.uk with the process working on a three-month cycle. Anyone who registers their details by December 17 will be told what their new lower energy rate could be from mid January 2013 if they wish to agree the price and join up. After December 17, the scheme will simply re-open for new applicants to register for the next auction three months later.
The simplest way to sign up is online. However, anyone wishing to register who has any further questions about the scheme can call a freephone helpline number: 0800 088 5007. Meanwhile, those without internet access can also register by visiting their local district council office and asking about the ‘collective switching scheme.’ Local libraries also provide internet services.