Big Switch returns

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West Norfolk residents could save money on their energy bills this autumn as the Big Switch and Save scheme returns.

The Big Switch and Save invites residents to sign up to take part in a ‘reverse auction’ where energy suppliers offer competitive tariffs to customers who are considering changing their supplier. Customers who are offered a better tariff than their current rate can then switch suppliers through the scheme and save money on their gas and electricity bills. By grouping households together it is possible to negotiate much lower energy tariffs than an individual switching supplier on their own.

It is free to take part and there is no obligation to accept an offer to change supplier. At registration, people will be asked to provide details of their current supplier and their current energy consumption.

People can register online at www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk. Registrants will need an email address to register online. Up to five households can be registered to a single email address so even people without an email address can take part if they have a friend or family member with an email address. For help registering online call 0800 0488 285. Alternatively, people can register over the telephone (by calling 01553 616200) or in person at the borough council’s King’s Lynn office.

Cllr Adrian Lawrence, Cabinet Member for Community, said: “Everybody is trying to make the most of their household budget and this scheme could be an easy way for people to save money on their energy bills. With winter approaching, it is especially important for people to make sure they’re getting the best deal from their gas and electricity suppliers. By acting together, people are more likely to receive an attractive offer from the energy companies, so I am urging everyone to register before 15 October – there is nothing to lose and possibly great savings to be made.”

Online registration closes on 15 October. If you need help registering over the phone you should register by the 11 October. The auction takes place on 16 October and people will be notified of the offers following the auction.

The Big Switch and Save applies to gas and electricity, but as around ¼ of the households in West Norfolk rely on fuel oil, a new section, identifying collective fuel oil buying schemes, has been added to the website. People are advised to check their exisiting contracts carefully for termination clauses.

The Borough Council of King’s Lynn & West Norfolk has worked with North Norfolk District Council, Breckland Council, Norwich City Council, Broadland District Council and South Norfolk Council to develop the scheme, which is operated by iChooser.

The first auction that involved West Norfolk took place in April this year. Over 160,000 households, nationwide, took part and those who switched made an average saving of £139.

Organisers are hoping that new Ofgem regulations designed to stimulate greater competition between suppliers will help to create even more attractive tariff offers for collective switchers this autumn.

For more information about the scheme and to register please visit: www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk.