Hopes York Energy Clubs Will Cut Electricity Bills
2:44pm 5th February 2013
Energy users across York can save hundreds of pounds on their gas and electricity bills by joining a new scheme to lower prices.
City of York Council has joined forces with Community Energy Direct (CED) to pilot a new innovative scheme designed to help households save money on their ever energy bills through talking part in an assisted collective energy switching scheme.
The principle is very simple. Households across York join together to create a new co-operative movement. By doing that, and making a deal with one of the energy suppliers, everyone gets the same low price for their gas and electricity. The more people who join the scheme, the greater the benefit that everyone can enjoy.
Cllr Dave Merrett, Cabinet Member for Transport, Planning and Sustainability, said: “Many people never change their energy suppliers as it is deemed a complicated process and are not aware of the financial savings they could make through switching suppliers. On average households can save up to £115 per year on their fuel costs by switching suppliers.”
The aim of the pilot is to make it easier for people to switch. The pilot will create two local energy smart clubs which will encourage households to come together to firstly understand their current energy deal, and to secondly then take
advantage of an supported and assisted collective energy switching scheme that will offer members of the local clubs potentially cheaper energy deals. The clubs will also act as a hub to help members save energy through advice on local energy efficiency grants and products.
Hugh Goulbourne, a director of Community Energy Direct, said: “This co-operative approach to energy sourcing really will enable domestic gas and electricity users to band together to get the best possible price deal from energy suppliers. It’s a radical new initiative in the energy industry and one which will remove the stark choice that many people currently face – whether to heat their home or eat.”
During February two energy smart clubs will be set up within areas of the Guildhall and Hull Road wards and within the Westfield area. CED are actively looking for community groups and individuals interested in helping set up a local energy smart club in these areas.
Once the clubs are established, households will be offered the opportunity to sign up to be part of the assisted collective switch scheme and anyone in the city can join the scheme.
York is one of six local authorities across the north of England which is working with Community Energy Direct as part of a £46m initiative from the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to help reduce fuel poverty, increase energy efficiency and encourage communities to come together to and collectively switch energy provider. In total, there are 132 local energy schemes.
For more details please contact 0845 4502581 or visit www.communityenergy.info
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