Mayor launches collective energy buying scheme for Bristol
"Together, we’re stronger"
21 February 2013
Mayor George Ferguson has launched our new scheme to help Bristol householders and small businesses save money on their electricity and gas bills by joining together to switch energy providers.
Bristol Switch & Save is a new not-for-profit collective buying scheme where residents and small businesses on a domestic tariff can join together to get a better deal. CSE is leading the scheme, in partnership with Bristol City Council, Bristol Credit Union and the Bristol Pound.
With over 25 suppliers and 400 tariffs on the market, it's no wonder that the majority of people are put off switching by the confusion and hassle, even if they think they're paying too much. Bristol Switch & Save will help reduce the confusion by finding the best deal on the group’s behalf, and sort out the switching process with the partipiants' energy companies.
Bristol Mayor George Ferguson said: “Bristol Switch & Save is an excellent opportunity for residents and small businesses to save money off their energy bills. Trying to achieve a better deal can be an unfathomable and confusing experience so collective bargaining is a common sense and powerful idea. I shall no doubt be registering an interest myself.”
Cllr Gus Hoyt, Cabinet Member for the Environment explained, "The more people who join in, the greater the buying power and the greater savings everyone can make. I’d urge anyone who's even vaguely interested to find out more.
"Households who haven’t switched energy supplier for some time, if at all, don’t commonly use comparison websites or are confused by the options for buying energy have the most to benefit from this scheme."
We particularly want to target those most in need of help with their energy bills: poorer households unable to afford to heat their homes to a healthy level and people using prepayment meters which typically have the highest tariffs.
"If hundreds, or even thousands, of people get together, they can get the energy companies to listen and get a better deal on their electricity and gas bills", said CSE's Janine Michael.
As well as helping people to get a better energy deal, Bristol Switch & Save is also looking to provide a green energy choice and payment options which boost the local economy through the Bristol Pound.
The aim is to get as many people as possible to sign up (with no obligation) by 22 March (which just happens to be the Mayor's birthday).
24 hours after the launch, 229 people had already joined in.