Energy switching campaign aims to reduce fuel poverty

By on 18/02/2013 in Cllr McKay, News
Cllr James McKay

Cllr James McKay

A new twist on energy switching has been unveiled in Birmingham and Solihull, which will enable residents to bulk buy gas and electricity and reduce fuel bills across the region while increasing communtiy spirit.

The campaign – Birmingham and Solihull Together - follows a pioneering pilot staged in Cornwall last year.

The government supported initiative, part of the new national UK Together brand, was devised with the primary aim of reducing fuel poverty, and with a longer term vision of increasing community spirit by enabling residents to bulk buy other products and services.

Birmingham and Solihull Together, funded by Birmingham City and Solihull Borough Councils, will offer householders a four week switching window starting on Monday in which they can find out whether they can save money on their energy bills before deciding to sign up quickly and easily on line or on the phone.

The campaign has negotiated three tarifs - for pre-payment, direct debit and green energy options. As an added bonus the more people who sign up, the greater the cashback style discounts they will receive on their first bill.

Cllr James McKay, cabinet member for a Green, Safe and Smart City at Birmingham City Council, said: “One of the key aims of the inititiaive will be to help people who are struggling with paying fuel bills, particularly as prices continue to rise, but we also want to  encourage them to adopt energy saving initiatives which will reduce their actual energy use.

“The thinking is that acting as a community rather than as individuals will enable residents to get a better deal overall. And the more people who join the campaign, the more they could save. So the message is for everyone to tell their friends, family and colleagues and pass it on.”

The campiagn also has a longer term vision to help communities share resources, club together to save money on other products and services and support the local economy.

The national pilot Together campaign saw 1,000 people in Cornwall save an average of £133 on their annual bills.

The switching window opens on Monday February 18 and closes on Sunday March 17.

To find out more visit www.birminghamandsolihulltogether.com, find them on facebook, follow them on twitter @ BS_Together, watch them on You Tube or phone 0800 917 5772 or 0121 222 8051.

Ends

For further information contact Birmingham and Solihull Together press officer Helen Salisbury on 01926 495425 or 07966 167269

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