April 23 2014 Latest news:
Monday, January 13, 2014
A new community scheme which aims to help Essex residents get a better deal on their gas and electricity bills is to be launched this week.
The Essex Energy Switch is being run by Essex County Council in partnership with district, borough and city councils. It is being delivered by iChoosr, an independent provider which specialises in collective energy switching.
Collective energy switching works by bringing together large groups of residents who want to switch providers and pay less for their energy.
Based on previous schemes, residents could save up to £133 by switching providers collectively.
Residents can register by visiting essex.gov.uk/energyswitch between Tuesday, January 14 and Monday, February 17. Residents should have a recent energy bill to hand when they register. Businesses on a domestic tariff can also register for the scheme.
On Tuesday, February 18 a nationwide one-day ‘energy auction’ will take place, facilitated by iChoosr. This is where the major energy companies will come forward to offer the lowest energy tariff to everyone who has signed up. The more people that sign up the better the tariff is likely to be. The company offering the lowest price wins.
Once the auction has closed everyone who registered will receive a personal offer of the new tariff from iChoosr, based on their existing energy usage. Residents can then decide whether or not to accept their offer. There is absolutely no obligation to switch.
Those who do decide to accept their offer will be contacted by the supplier to arrange the switch.
County councillor Roger Walters, cabinet member for Waste and Recycling, said: “Spiralling energy bills are putting pressure on the purse strings of hardworking people across the county, but by signing up to our scheme we can help you get a better deal.
“Too many people have to worry about whether they can afford to heat their home at this time of year, but the more people who sign up to the Essex Energy Switch, the more we can save together.”
Registration opens on Tuesday at essex.gov.uk/energyswitch. The website also features further advice on saving energy in the home.
Residents who do not have internet access at home can register using IT facilities at libraries across Essex – they just need to take an energy bill along with them.
Cllr Susan Barker, cabinet member for environment at Uttlesford District Council, said: “As one of the local authority partners in the Essex-wide Energy Switch Scheme, we are proactively encouraging our residents to take advantage of the chance to reduce their energy bills at home.
“Fuel poverty and the health related implications of cold homes are a very real concern in our district. I do urge people to pass this message onto friends, relatives and neighbours so that they can sign up to see if they can reduce their energy bills. The more people that sign up to the scheme the better savings they can make.”