Derbyshire County Council launch energy-saving scheme

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An energy switching scheme which could save local people collectively more than half a million pounds a year has been launched by Derbyshire County Council.

Residents are being urged to register with Derbyshire Big Deals – the county council’s bulk buying scheme which works by bringing people together to get the best price on their gas and electricity bills.

60% of people have never switched their energy company even though they could save an average of £217 a year if they did.

So the county council is working with consumer champions ‘Which?’ to negotiate with energy companies to strike the best deal for residents to cut their annual gas and electricity bills.

Each household registering with the scheme will also be entered into a free prize draw for a chance to win free gas and electricity for a whole year, with three prizes up to a maximum value of £1,500 up for grabs.

Councillor Andrew Lewer, Leader of Derbyshire County Council, said: “We all know we should shop around but sometimes it seems too complicated to switch your gas and electricity company.

“We are really pleased to be working with ‘Which?’ – a trusted consumer brand – to help local people come together to save money, as well as making it easy to switch.”

Richard Lloyd, Executive Director, Which? said: “We are proud to be teaming up with Derbyshire County Council to help people save on their energy bills. Rising energy prices are one of consumers’ top financial worries but by taking part in Derbyshire Big Deals people could help reduce their household budgets.”

All residents need to do is find their recent energy bill and either fill in a few simple questions online at www.derbyshire.gov.uk/bigdeals, or call the county council’s Big Deals line on 01629 533365 (9am-6pm Monday to Friday) or pop into a county council library where staff can help fill in the form for them.

Households need to register before 6pm on 20 March 2013 and they will find out at the end of the month how much they could save.

Around 6,000 people have already pre-registered for the scheme and the county council will be contacting them to explain what they need to do next.

There is no obligation for households to switch, but if they decide to do so their new energy company will cancel the contract with their existing supplier for them.