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United power for good deal
12:00pm Monday 21st January 2013 in Headlines
COUNCILS across Hampshire are joining forces to help residents save on their gas and electricity bills.
The county council is working with local authorities to set up a ‘collective energy switching service’ which will enable gas and electricity consumers in the county to combine their purchasing power and get a better deal on their bills.
Councillor Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “This is good news for households across the county since it will mean that people who register for the scheme will possibly be able to get their gas and/or electricity at much cheaper rates than if they were buying either service as an individual.
“There are approximately 760,000 households in Hampshire. If two per cent sign up to switch energy supplier through our collective energy switching service, this would give a combined purchasing power of 15,000 customers, enabling the negotiation of greater discounts on their behalf. Clearly, the more people who sign up, the more negotiating power we will have – so it is vital as many people as possible register.
“It will also give an opportunity for greater savings to be made by those who rely on electricity alone.
“Typically customers could save in the region of £60 to £200 on their energy bills by participation in collective switching. Running an energy switching scheme three times a year could lead to savings of up to £25 million for residents.”
To get the scheme up and running, the county council is planning to contract an intermediary organisation to manage the collective switching process.
A decision on this is to be taken on 22 January 2013. More details about the scheme will be announced at the beginning of April 2013.