Energy-switching scheme to be relaunched by South Lakeland District Council

First published in News The Westmorland Gazette: Photograph of the Author by , Senior Reporter

SOUTH Lakeland District Council is to relaunch its energy-switching scheme Power Up Your Community on Monday (January 14).

The initiative puts energy buying power into the hands of the community and gives people the opportunity to reduce their bills.

People can sign up either online, by telephone or by visiting one of the council's offices in Kendal, Ulverston and Windermere to give their current usage figures of gas and electricity.

The deadline for registration is February 25.

SLDC will again work with specialist company, iChoosr, to negotiate with energy companies on behalf of everyone signed up to the scheme to help them get the best tariff possible.

Then an auction will take place on February 26 when energy companies will bid for the custom of those registered.

An offer with a price for energy supply will be sent to everyone registered.

This figure will be calculated on usage - only then would people decide whether they wish to accept the winning supplier’s offer.

Coun Clare Feeney-Johnson, SLDC deputy leader and portfolio holder for the environment, said: “The council is launching Power Up Your Community again, as it is a huge opportunity for local residents to be part of a scheme that helps to reduce their energy costs.

“The other benefit of the council’s scheme is that the switching fee paid to the council is used for the sole purpose of helping to combat fuel poverty in the district.

“The switching fee received by SLDC is ploughed back into local community projects that help people who are struggling to pay for fuel to keep warm.

“Members of the public can sign up for free with no obligation and the only thing they need to do is visit www.southlakeland.gov.uk or call 0845 050 4434 to register their interest.

“By switching energy supplier, people can often save a lot of money and switching has never been so easy thanks to support and guidance of the council.

“We need to help those most in need save all the money they can.”

Last July, SLDC was the first local authority in the UK to launch a collective energy-switching scheme.

A total of 1,669 householders registered - 1,554 residents from South Lakeland and a further 115 households from outside the district.

Figures show that 20 per cent of people registered either in person at council offices or over the telephone with the SLDC Contact Centre.

Registering in this way is a new concept as, the council said, switching opportunities are often only available online.

Some 517 people who signed up last time have accepted offers from energy companies - a 'switching rate' of 31 per cent.

SLDC said this figure had 'exceeded all expectations'.

Further details can be found on the council’s website at www.southlakeland.gov.uk or by calling 0845 050 4434.

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