Community Partnership to bring cheaper energy to fuel poor

Posted: 05-02-2013

A partnership of 30 organisations including charities, local authorities and housing associations will today launch the Cheaper Energy Together Community Partnership to help bring cheaper energy to households across the UK through a new initiative funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).

The Cheaper Energy Together partnership, led by not-for-profit thePeoplesPower, will provide a collective and instant energy switching service to get households a better deal through the power of group buying, and will also offer free energy saving advice and support.

The project, which will be open to all UK households, will have a particular focus on those facing fuel poverty, and those who have not switched before.  Residents will be able to sign up online, on the phone, or at a series of local events over the next two months, before a big community switch is held in March.

Energy Secretary Edward Davey said the DECC funding would help “drive forward collective purchasing and switching initiatives at a local level, helping consumers get a better deal on their energy bills”.

“We need to find new ways to help people with their energy bills, working with communities and councils across the country” he said. “I am delighted so many organisations want to run new co-operative schemes to help people, especially the fuel poor, to get the best deals in the market.”

Involving dedicated community and voluntary organisations based in and around the Midlands, the Community Partnership hopes to tackle some of the worse fuel poverty levels in England: In the East Midlands fuel poverty effects more than 18% of households, while in the West Midlands there is a fuel poverty rate of nearly 22%, the highest in England.

All organisations involved are not-for-profit. The switching service will be completely free to consumers and a small referral fee will be charged to energy suppliers of between £5 and £8 per switch (far less than the industry average of £40-£70 per switch). All referral fees will contribute to the cost of running the initiative, no profits will be made.

“We are really excited to be working as part of such a strong community partnership for cheaper energy bills” said Mike Shamash, Project Director. “We want to make sure that everyone has the chance to make a real savings on their energy bills, so we will be making an extra effort to work with households who haven’t switched before, and those who may be facing fuel poverty”.

If you’d like to find out more, or to sign up for cheaper energy together, then visit www.cheaperenergytogether.org. Signing up is free, easy and there is no obligation. If you don’t have internet access you can call the project free-phone helpline on 0800 888 6611.

About the Cheaper Energy Together Partnership
The Cheaper Energy Together Partnership brings together 30 organisations (full list below), led by the not-for-profit thePeoplesPower.co.uk. The Partnership has been awarded a grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change Local Authority Funds Competition to deliver a project targeting fuel poverty across the UK, with a particular focus on the Midlands.
The project will conclude with a reverse auction at the end of March 2013. Further details will be available at www.cheaperenergytogether.org.

 

Notes for editors:

1. A full list of winners under the three strands of the DECC grant competition can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fuel-poverty-2010-detailed-tables

2. National and regional fuel poverty statistics can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/statistical-data-sets/fuel-poverty-2010-detailed-tables

3. The full list of partners and supporters in the Cheaper Energy Together Community Partnership: Advice Derbyshire, Aspire Housing, Beat the Cold, Citizens Advice Bureaus (Chesterfield; North East Derbyshire; Derbyshire Dales, Amber Valley & Erewash), Community Action Derby, Community First, Derbyshire NHS PCT Councils, Direct Help and Advice, Erewash Voluntary Action CVS Ltd, Global Action Plan, Herefordshire Council, Herefordshire Housing Group, Lichfield District Council, National Association of Student Money Advisers, Marches Energy Agency, Newcastle under Lyme Borough Council, Rural Action Derbyshire, Severnside Housing, Shropshire Council, Shropshire Housing Group, Shropshire Rural Community Council, Staffordshire Housing Group, Suffolk Action with Communities in Rural England, Tamworth Borough Council, Transition Chesterfield, Transition Matlock, ThePeoplesPower CIC, Wrekin Housing Group.