People urged to join community switch for lower energy bills

Householders in South Tyneside are being encouraged to take part in a collective purchasing scheme to save money on energy bills. The South Tyneside Switch is supported by the Department […]

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By Priyanka Shrestha

Householders in South Tyneside are being encouraged to take part in a collective purchasing scheme to save money on energy bills.

The South Tyneside Switch is supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and aims to bring together residents interested in switching to a cheaper energy tariff. The more people that register with the scheme, the stronger the buying power there is to negotiate cheaper energy bills.

Young mum of one, Amy Ridgeon (pictured), who lives in South Shields and has registered to the switch, said it’s  a great way for people to cut their energy bills: “I believe many people are paying far too much money for their energy bills but it’s a necessity as everybody needs to use it. The great thing about South Tyneside Switch is that the more people who sign up to the scheme, the better chance we all get to receive a reduced energy bill. This is welcome news in the current economic climate.”

Councillor Jim Foreman, Lead Member Housing & Transport at South Tyneside Council added: “In simple terms, South Tyneside Switch looks to save people money and keep their home warmer for longer. It’s a winning combination at a time when people are looking to make their money stretch further… If people are warmer they are likely to be healthier and if they have more money in their pockets, they are likely to be happier.”

Bridget Edwards, Community Energy Officer working on the South Tyneside Switch scheme said the process is very simple: “The only information you need to have to sign up is details of your current supplier, tariff and total monthly or annual spend. Following an auction, a personal offer will be made to everyone who has signed up. Residents will then have the opportunity to decide whether or not to accept the deal they have been offered.”

More than 40,000 households have registered to the Big Community Switch so far, where more than 50 Councils are participating.