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Stockton-on-Tees Borough Council

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Another chance to switch to a better deal

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


Stockton Council is once again inviting residents to find out more about a collective energy switch which could see them significantly reduce their gas and electricity bills.

Earlier this year the Council worked with delivery partner, iChoosr, to launch a collective switching scheme for residents. In May around 1,500 Stockton residents came together to form a single buying unit. Three energy providers with the best deal were declared winners of the auction offering an average saving of £122.

Following the success of the Big Community Switch scheme Stockton Council is now reopening the auction process and is inviting residents to apply. For the first time community groups and small businesses can also sign up for tariff switching help.

People without internet access, or who would like some help in the process can also register at The Horizon Centre, Bridge Road, Stockton (01642) 615834 or the Five Lamps Centre, Eldon Street, Thornaby (01642) 704142.

The deadline for registration is 15 October. After that the Big Community Switch organises an auction, and the supplier offering the best tariff will be able to offer residents a new contract. After the auction residents will receive a personal offer and can see how much money they can save. There is no cost to register and no obligation to accept the personal offer. The Big Community Switch will ensure the switch is easy and hassle free.

Councillor David Rose, Stockton Council's Cabinet Member for the Environment, said: "We are committed to doing all we can to reduce fuel poverty, and this includes finding different ways to help people get cheaper bills.

“I’m really pleased that we are able to offer residents another opportunity to join forces and make a collective approach to the energy market. It’s a great opportunity for businesses and community groups to get on board too and the more people who sign up, the bigger the buying unit to attract lower prices from competing suppliers.

“The collective switching is all about people power. Many residents and businesses are unsure about switching suppliers or don't have the time to compare companies. This scheme takes away all the hassle and there is no obligation.”

This new opportunity for residents is part of Stockton Council’s ongoing commitment to tackling fuel poverty. During the past year, in addition to the first collective switching scheme, work has included the Council’s Warm Homes Healthy People scheme, which has helped thousands of residents living in cold homes.

Energy efficiency programmes delivered by Stockton Council and GoWarm have attracted more than £28million private sector investment to improve energy efficiency and cut fuel bills and will extend to around 7,000 households in the first borough-wide external wall insulation retrofitting programme in the country.

Stockton Council has recently introduced a wide-ranging Affordable Warmth policy, developed through the Environment Scrutiny Committee.

The Big Community Switch is open to all householders (including those in rented accommodation and those using a prepayment meter), tenants, small businesses and community groups. The main six suppliers have even agreed with Ofgem to allow prepayment meter consumers with a debt of up to £500 to switch if they so choose. There is no obligation for anyone to change suppliers once they have registered for the Big Community Switch.

For more information and to apply on line visit www.stockton.gov.uk/bigcommunityswitch

 

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