Hampshire residents are being urged to register for Switch Hampshire, the collective energy switching service that could mean lower household bills for gas and electricity.
The County Council is working with other local authorities across Hampshire on the "Switch Hampshire" scheme that will enable gas and electricity consumers to use their combined purchasing power to seek a better deal on their bills. The scheme offers people the potential to get their gas and/or electricity at cheaper rates than if they buy either service as an individual customer.
As an example, customers could save in the region of £60 to £200 per year on their energy bills by joining the scheme. Running a collective switching scheme three times a year could lead to potential savings of up to £25 million for Hampshire residents.
The first opportunity for residents to register is open until 3 June. People can register online or by calling 01962 846828 (lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm). After the registration closing date, Switch Hampshire will begin negotiations with energy providers to secure the best deals on the strength of this collective buying power.
Registering for the scheme is free and does not commit anyone to switching energy supplier. Switch Hampshire will notify all those who have registered about the best energy tariffs available to them and will manage everything for them, if they do make the decision to switch supplier.
With approximately 760,000 households in Hampshire, if just two per cent signed up to switch energy supplier through Hampshire's collective energy switching service, this would give a combined purchasing power of just over 15,000 customers - enabling greater discounts to be negotiated on their behalf. The more people who sign up, the more negotiating power Switch Hampshire will have.
Access to cheaper energy has the potential to bring significant benefits to those on low incomes, the elderly and families in fuel poverty, including making a positive impact on their health and wellbeing. It can also offer an opportunity for greater savings for those who rely on electricity for heating and cooking because they are not connected to a mains gas supply.
Nationally, collective energy switching is supported by the Department of Energy and Climate Change, the Local Government Association and consumer groups including Consumer Focus.