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It's simple to switch and save on your energy bills

Monday, 20 May 2013

With fuel costs rising and continued pressure on household budgets, Hampshire residents have two weeks left to sign up for a collective energy switching scheme that could save them money on their gas and electric bills.

The County Council has joined up with the 13 local authorities across Hampshire (including Portsmouth and Southampton) to set up Switch Hampshire, which allows gas and electricity consumers to combine their purchasing power and get a better deal on bills.

Registering for the scheme is free and simple to do - all you need is your current tariff and energy use in terms of power (KWh) or cost. This information should be included on your annual energy statements or you can find out from your energy provider. There is no obligation to switch and the secure scheme is backed by the County Council.

Each household could save between £60 to £200 a year on energy bills by joining the scheme. Running a collective switching scheme three times a year could result in potential savings of up to £25 million for Hampshire residents.

People can register until 3 June, either online or by calling 01962 846828 (lines open Monday - Friday 9am - 5pm). After the closing date, Switch Hampshire will begin negotiations with energy providers to secure the best deals on the strength of this collective buying power.

There is no obligation to switch energy supplier - Switch Hampshire will notify everyone who has registered about the best energy tariffs available to them and manage the process if they do decide to switch.

With around 760,000 households in Hampshire, just two per cent signing up to switch energy supplier through Switch Hampshire would give a combined purchasing power of just over 15,000 customers. The more people who sign up, the more negotiating power Switch Hampshire will have.

Switch Hampshire is part of a larger scheme, the Big Community Switch, involving several London boroughs.

Access to cheaper energy can have 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.

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