LEADER of Thurrock Council, Cllr John Kent, has launched The Big Energy Switch – the council’s first ever collective energy switching scheme which can save people up to £250 a year.
The scheme starts this Friday – 15 February – and will run until 8 April followed by an auction of energy suppliers the following day.
A tariff will then be offered to all who signed up based on their calculated energy usage. People can then decide whether they wish to accept or decline the offer.
Standing on the roof of the council offices, Cllr Kent said: “Rising electricity and gas prices are crippling households and yet so many of us are afraid to do something about it in case we end up locked in a worse situation.
“It doesn’t help when we are constantly bombarded with so many suppliers who claim to be offering ‘better deals’ which can be extremely confusing.
“We are running this scheme in conjunction with Barking and Dagenham Council so we can get as many residents to sign up as possible.
“Anyone can sign up- and the more residents who do, the more bargaining power we will have to drive down the price.
“We have set ourselves a target to see if we can get as many Thurrock households signed up by 8 April when it closes.”
He added “Residents will all have the comfort that this scheme is being arranged by the council with a credited broker – iChoosr – and there is no obligation to accept the offer when it is made so there is nothing to lose.”
Conservative Environment spokesman Cllr Simon Wootton added, “This is a great idea that was raised by Conservatives some months ago. Anything that can save residents’ money should be welcomed. The scheme gives every family in Thurrock the chance to save on their fuel bill and I encourage everyone to sign up – you’re not committed and don’t have to change supplier unless it will save you money.
This is a fantastic way to redress the balance between our communities and big business – local communities coming together to make it clear that it’s the consumer who has the power. I am pleased the council is helping facilitate this.”
Full details on how to sign will be available on the council’s website from Friday (15 February) by clicking on www.thurrock.gov.uk/bigswitch which will link to the online registration form on the iChoosr website or call 01375 652652 for assistance.