Time running out for energy switch sign up

The clock is ticking for householders planning to join the region’s largest communal energy switch programme.

So far more than 3,000 homes have signed-up for the Community Energy Direct fuel switch but more are expected as the 17 April deadline gets closer.

Councillor Mark Dobson, Leeds City Council’s executive member for the environment said:

“People shouldn’t be put off switching energy supplier – Community Energy Direct do all the hard work for you and by signing up you have nothing to lose. In fact, we hope Leeds residents will have a lot to gain as they could save a significant chunk of money by simply switching suppliers with us.

“With more people on board, we stand a better chance of negotiating a more favourable deal so don’t leave it to the last minute to sign up; do it today.”

Hugh Goulbourne, director at Community Energy Direct said:

“Similar schemes elsewhere in the country have always seen a late rush of people and we expect the same to happen in the six areas where we are working.

“However, rather than wait until the last few days we recommend people join now rather than later to avoid any last minute unforeseen complications.

“There are some significant savings to be made for people, especially those who have never changed their gas or electricity supplier.”

Community Energy Direct is backed by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and is working with local authorities and housing associations in Bradford, Kirklees, Leeds, Rochdale, Wakefield and York.

Households can join the community energy switch by visiting www.communityenergy.info or by joining local advice sessions being held across the region.

The scheme is free and without commitment with householders simply entering their latest energy data. After the deadline has passed the consumer organisation Which? will negotiate with energy suppliers to source the best deals available in the market. Individuals are then given the details of the best deal for them with the option to accept it or to remain with their current arrangements.

Community Energy Direct predicts average savings of £115 per year for those who join the scheme.

Note to editors:

  • Community Energy Direct is based in Leeds. For more information visit www.communityenergy.info

  • Energy regulator Ofgem predicts that energy prices will rise by 60% to 2016 and that the number of homes in fuel poverty (spending more than 10% of household income on energy) will rise from 13% to 16% in the same timeframe.

  • A community energy co-operative approach enables local people, within a distinct area, to join together and hold an `auction’ with energy providers to source the best possible deal for its members.

  • Community Energy Direct is working in six local authority areas across northern England to drive down energy prices for thousands of households.

  • Based on studies of previous energy switching initiatives, Community Energy Direct expects households to save up to £115 per year on their fuel costs.

  • Which? is a consumer champion. It works to make things better for consumers. Its advice helps them make informed decisions; its campaigns make people’s lives fairer, simpler and safer; its services and products put consumers’ needs first to bring them better value.

For media enquiries please contact:

John O’Grady, 07805 933324

Community Energy Direct

Amanda Burns, 0113 395 1577

Leeds City Council