Hundreds get cheaper gas and electricity in York thanks to tariff switching scheme

York Press: Hundreds get cheaper gas and electricity in York thanks to tariff switching scheme Hundreds get cheaper gas and electricity in York thanks to tariff switching scheme

HUNDREDS of York residents have saved money by signing up to a free service to help them get lower their gas and electricity bills.

City of York Council partnered up with energy switching experts iChoosr earlier this year to make it easier for residents to consider switching their energy tariffs.

The Save Money by Switching Energy campaigns, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York’s Citizens Advice Bureaux and Age UK York, was launched in December. People could register through four easy steps.

A council spokeswoman said 751 residents signed up to the scheme locally, with more than 36,000 people registering across the UK as part of a wider national Big Community switch.

iChoosr hosted an ‘auction day’ on 18 February, where energy companies put forward their lowest tariffs to win the auction, and the winners were Ovo Energy, British Gas, Green Star Energy and Scottish Power. People were then sent personalised offers to consider switching onto.

"In York, 242 residents switched which resulted in an average saving per person of £169 over the year," said the spokeswoman.

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Cabinet Member for Health, said such schemes could play a vital role in reducing fuel poverty for residents on low household incomes or struggling with unaffordable energy costs.

"Our intention was to ensure that as many vulnerable people as possible benefitted from this energy scheme and we hope to run similar schemes like this again in the future.”

George Vickers, Chief Executive of the Citizens Advice Bureaux in York, said a lot of people were coming to the CAB for advice because they’ were struggling to pay all their bills. "This scheme was a great opportunity for all York residents to sign up to and benefit from finding a cheaper energy tariff which in turn will now help them to cut the cost of their monthly outgoings and save money.”

James Player, Deputy Chief Officer of Age UK York, said: “We really hope that many more people will have lower fuel bills thanks to this scheme and thus be able to keep warmer and healthier during the winter months.”

Comments (4)

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8:13am Mon 14 Apr 14

nowthen says...

It's a shame we can't switch council tax tariffs , it's my biggest annual bill.
It's a shame we can't switch council tax tariffs , it's my biggest annual bill. nowthen
  • Score: 32

9:48am Mon 14 Apr 14

zorpie says...

Another case of York's Labour Councillors taking credit for benefits brought be private organisations.

You can't run a bath in this city without James Alexander or one of his cronies turning up and taking partial credit.
Another case of York's Labour Councillors taking credit for benefits brought be private organisations. You can't run a bath in this city without James Alexander or one of his cronies turning up and taking partial credit. zorpie
  • Score: 16

11:31am Mon 14 Apr 14

VinceYork says...

There are loads of switching websites that people can use if they want to. Why is this needed? I presume the private company involved will be paying York Council some money for this advertising.

Also people will switch and then in a few months' time they will need to switch again when the tariff changes.

I can't see that this is going to help.
There are loads of switching websites that people can use if they want to. Why is this needed? I presume the private company involved will be paying York Council some money for this advertising. Also people will switch and then in a few months' time they will need to switch again when the tariff changes. I can't see that this is going to help. VinceYork
  • Score: 3

12:51pm Mon 14 Apr 14

harrimus says...

VinceYork wrote:
There are loads of switching websites that people can use if they want to. Why is this needed? I presume the private company involved will be paying York Council some money for this advertising.

Also people will switch and then in a few months' time they will need to switch again when the tariff changes.

I can't see that this is going to help.
The difference between this switching scheme and switching websites is that the former is collective and uses group bargaining power to deliver cheaper prices, whilst the latter is an individual activity. Collective switching is popular in Belgium and The Netherlands.

As to why it's needed, switching activity in the energy markets has been historically low in the UK (and other European countries), despite the potential benefits. As an energy policy researcher, I can see the benefits of collective energy switching schemes such as these as they remove some of the barriers, especially as they sign up people at local events, rather than relying entirely on the internet, which many people don't use.

Haven't used a collective scheme myself, but would be interested in the future.
[quote][p][bold]VinceYork[/bold] wrote: There are loads of switching websites that people can use if they want to. Why is this needed? I presume the private company involved will be paying York Council some money for this advertising. Also people will switch and then in a few months' time they will need to switch again when the tariff changes. I can't see that this is going to help.[/p][/quote]The difference between this switching scheme and switching websites is that the former is collective and uses group bargaining power to deliver cheaper prices, whilst the latter is an individual activity. Collective switching is popular in Belgium and The Netherlands. As to why it's needed, switching activity in the energy markets has been historically low in the UK (and other European countries), despite the potential benefits. As an energy policy researcher, I can see the benefits of collective energy switching schemes such as these as they remove some of the barriers, especially as they sign up people at local events, rather than relying entirely on the internet, which many people don't use. Haven't used a collective scheme myself, but would be interested in the future. harrimus
  • Score: 4

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