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Councils across Norfolk helping people save money on energy bills

PUBLISHED: 18:48 01 March 2013 | UPDATED: 18:48 01 March 2013

Councillors from around Norfolk where in Dereham today to launch the Big Switch and Save, with South Norfolk councillor Yvonne Bendle ready with some leaflets. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Councillors from around Norfolk where in Dereham today to launch the Big Switch and Save, with South Norfolk councillor Yvonne Bendle ready with some leaflets. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2013

Hundreds of thousands of Norfolk people are being urged to join forces to drive down their energy bills.

A new energy switch scheme – covering five districts in the county – was launched in Dereham, and it could see the amount paid for electricity and gas cut by up to £171 a year.

The joint initiative has been set up by Breckland, North Norfolk, Broadland, King’s Lynn and West Norfolk and South Norfolk councils.

They hope that by getting enough people signed up for the scheme, they can then go to an auction to bulk-buy energy and get people a cheaper deal through a company called ichoosr.

The more residents who sign up, the bigger the likely reductions.

The scheme will build on work which has already been done by Norwich City Council, which signed up almost 1,800 people for an auction in November last year.

It comes as Centrica, the owner of British Gas announced an 11pc rise in profits and on the back of warnings reported in the EDP that the broken state of the energy market means householders in the east will face further “inevitable” price hikes on their electricity and gas bills.

Breckland leader William Nunn said: “This is a great step forward and will show the people that when local authorities work together we can make a difference to their lives. This scheme could potentially benefit every single person that signs up.

“It’s not an easy time for anyone right now, but this collective energy deal may just ease things a little for those struggling to make ends meet.”

People can sign up from by visiting www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk and then clicking on their local authority.

People will need a recent energy bill and provide details of current suppliers and tariff plus some details about themselves.

Anyone can sign up, but there is no obligation to go ahead.

A series of roadshows are being held next week to explain more about the scheme – Breckland Business Centre, Dereham, Wednesday, 10am–3pm; Dereham Library, Thursday, 10am-3pm; CAB at the Assembly Rooms in Dereham, Friday, 10am-3pm; Breckland Older People’s Forum, Council Offices, Dereham, Tuesday, March 12, 9.30am-2.30pm; Thetford Customer Service Centre, Wednesday, March 13, 10am-3pm; Watton Library, Wednesday, March 20, 10am-3pm; Ecotech, Swaffham, Wednesday, March 27, 9.30am-1.30pm.

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