People in South Leeds are being offered free help to move to cheaper energy suppliers and use their collective strength to get a better price.
Leeds City Council and Community Energy Direct (CED) are helping people to form Energy Smart Clubs to cut their bills. In the Clubs people who are interested can sign-up to register their interest. CED then work with their partner, Which? who organised the Big (energy) Switch last year to get the best price for the people who have signed-up. The average saving for each household is estimated to be £115 per year.
Millions of domestic energy users have not changed their supplier since competition was introduced into the energy supply market. Many of these are people who live in fuel poverty and spend more than 10% of their household income on energy bills. These people can make significant savings on their energy costs but need encouraging to make the change.
Organisers hope that through the development of Energy Smart Clubs which will be community-led by local people, more people will realise the benefits of the best energy prices available in the market.
The Energy Smart Clubs will be run by local people within their own communities and will offer:
- better energy deals
- information about how to save energy and
- access to energy saving products
The scheme was launched on Monday 18th February and residents are encouraged to register their interest with no commitment. The scheme will close for new applicants in April.
Once Which? Have negotiated the best deal for the Club, every member will be offered the chance to switch, or stay with their current supplier.
Residents can register their interest by ringing 0845 450 2581 or online at www.communityenergy.info.
Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment, said:
“Helping people access cheaper fuel prices in the face of spiralling energy costs is important. However, the crucial part of our proposed scheme is to help people cut the amount of energy they use in the first place so they pay less.
“By residents clubbing together in this way, and by working with our partners, we can negotiate a better deal and offer a service that will save money, cut energy use and ultimately help slash carbon emissions.
“It’s a win-win project all round and we hope for a positive outcome from our bid to ensure we can support some of our most vulnerable residents whilst making Leeds cleaner and greener.”