Save Money By Switching Energy campaign is launched

York Press: From left, James Player, of Age UK York, Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Owen Daggett, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Coun Dave Merrett and George Vickers, of the Citizen's Advice Bureau From left, James Player, of Age UK York, Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, Owen Daggett, of the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, Coun Dave Merrett and George Vickers, of the Citizen's Advice Bureau

A FREE service has been launched which could allow York residents to cut hundreds of pounds from their energy bills.

The Save Money By Switching Energy campaign is designed to help people reduce bills through a four-step process as the national debate over the price of gas and electricity intensifies.

People can now register for free up to February 17 with a copy of a recent energy bill, after which energy-switching organisation iChoosr will invite suppliers to offer their best prices to everybody in the scheme. Residents will receive tailored offers on a new tariff by February 28 and then decide whether to accept, with no obligation to take up the deal. City of York Council said similar initiatives elsewhere had seen householders save up to £200 a year.

The council is involved in the venture with iChoosr, supported by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation, York’s Citizens Advice Bureau (CAB) and Age UK York.

Coun Dave Merrett, the council’s cabinet member for sustainability, said: “Energy prices are big news at the moment and we want to do more at a local level to help residents get the best possible deal, which in recent months hasn’t always been the easiest thing to do.”

Coun Tracey Simpson-Laing, cabinet member for health, housing and adult social services, said the scheme would help reduce fuel poverty for vulnerable residents on low incomes or who were struggling with rising energy costs.

Owen Daggett, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation and Joseph Rowntree Housing Trust’s sustainability manager, said: “The impacts of fuel poverty are well-documented.

“Switching energy provider can be crucial in reducing costs, and through this scheme there is a real opportunity to see a reduction in bills for families across the city.”

York CAB has seen many people who are finding it difficult to pay their energy bills as Christmas and New Year approach, according to its chief executive George Vickers.

James Player, Age UK York’s deputy chief officer, said: “The campaign is an exciting development which could be a great help to many older people in the city and anybody else trying to get by on limited means.”

More information and registration details are at www.york.gov.uk/switchingenergy, by phoning 01904 551550 or from the council’s West Offices customer service centre.

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