Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Collective switching: Ready to Switch? Leicester

Last week I launched a new council initiative to help residents get a better deal for their energy supplies.

People are worried about rising energy bills and I think the council should be helping people save money. I have been working to develop this initiative for a couple of months or so with the council's Home Energy Team, which also provides advice and help to improve energy efficiency for households in the city.

Ready to Switch is an independent scheme where residents can save money on their gas and electricity bills by collectively switching their energy provider. Households already struggling to pay their energy bills could get cheaper bills, which could in turn help them to avoid fuel poverty.

Similar schemes running in other parts of the country have helped more than 21,000 people save an average of £131 on their annual energy bills. One local scheme, in Nottingham, saved an average of £225 per household.

Launching Ready to Switch? Leicester 

In total, energy schemes like Ready to Switch have saved consumers £2.7million to date.

The Ready to Switch scheme will be open to anyone, including people with low credit scores or those who use pre-payment cards.

People whose heating is provided by district heating schemes can also use the scheme to change their electricity provider. Residents on district heating schemes have their gas provided as part of their tenancy agreement.

Registering is easy. Individual households sign up to the scheme, either online or by telephone. Once registered, households are grouped together and, every quarter, energy suppliers submit their best price for the group as a whole. The more people who sign up, the more likely suppliers are to give an additional discount.

To register, people will need their current energy bill to hand. Individuals will be sent their offer of a new energy price by the energy company, and the bill payer can then decide to change supplier or not.

Find out more at www.leicester.gov.uk/switching