A collective energy switching scheme for people living in Norwich has been launched for a second time, with hopes that lessons have been learned from its first attempt.

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Norwich City Council’s Big Switch and Save scheme saw two-thirds of the 1,768 city residents who registered at the end of last year offered annual savings of an average of £166. One household even secured a huge saving of £501.

City council leader Brenda Arthur and cabinet member for environmental strategy Bert Bremner, both Labour councillors, re-launched the scheme at City Hall yesterday.

Mrs Arthur said: “It seems particularly relevant given the weather conditions that we are launching it today. The scheme went really well the first time and we know that we saved lots of people a really significant amount of money.

“We know people in Norwich have lower earnings then people in the rest of the region so, again, that’s one of the reasons why we feel the Big Switch and Save scheme is so important.”

"We led the way with tranche one of this scheme and were one of the first local authorities in the UK to register a switch and save scheme.
Since then two-thirds of local authorities are now looking to launch similar schemes, what a rush!"

Bert Bremner.

The scheme culminates in the city council taking a block of people interested in switching their energy provider to an auction.

However, Green councillor Lucy Galvin, a member of the city council’s scrutiny committee, said she hoped lessons had been learned from the first scheme.

Mrs Galvin said: “Collective switching can be a very positive thing but there are three main areas where the first switch failed.

“It wasn’t fairly shared and it wasn’t accessible to the people that needed it most, because it was only really available online and there was less time for people to apply offline.

“The council also needs to be more transparent about the process as it is not clear who is making what money out of this.

“Finally, the council should make it clear to people that they need to check that the deal offered really is the best for them. Many people will be able to get as good or a better deal elsewhere after a couple of minutes online - I certainly did.”

The council has received £26,000 in funding from the Department of Energy and Climate Change to fund its switching intiatives and is planning community events to help people apply.

Mr Bremner added: “We led the way with tranche one of this scheme and were one of the first local authorities in the UK to register a switch and save scheme.

“Since then two-thirds of local authorities are now looking to launch similar schemes, what a rush!

“It’s great news for our residents because when we go to auction again our numbers will have increased even further and we will be able to get even better savings.

“Our hope is that the lasting legacy of this scheme is to demistify the process of switching for our residents.”

Registration is open for just over 10 weeks, until Monday, April 8 for people who register using the internet and Monday, March 24 for people who register offline.

The city council then plans to attend an auction on Tuesday, April 9 and offline registrants will then have until Friday, April 19 to decide whether to switch and online registrants having until Wedjnesday, April 24.

For more information, and to register, go to http://norwich.ichoosr.com

17 comments

  • Labour Norwich sets the standard and the rest follow.

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    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • “The council also needs to be more transparent about the process as it is not clear who is making what money out of this"...I'll answer that question for the green Councillor, .ichoosr sell all the information they gather from applicants, this can be energy firms or tom,d*ck and mohammad third parties. Out of the effortless cash driver,they hand over £10 to brenda and chums at city hall.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • I say nrg, you really don't like Labour do you. You know, you come across like one of those nice wishy washy liberal types, probably found all that social justice chat appealing but in the end couldn't bring yourself to support a party with links to the lower orders.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

  • I'm in agreeance with Derek Colman and unless this scheme is targeted at those who are struggling I fail to see its goals. If its only benefiting the owning classes and not those who are hit most by inexorably rising energy prices, then why bother. This is not about helping the poor but the better off, well done Labour., such class.

    Report this comment

    ingo wagenknecht

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Check out central govt policies driving more and more people into fuel poverty if you want something to complain about, or do you only care about Labour-bashing?

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Police Commissioner???, the Fabians don't have a wolf in sheep's wool as their logo for nowt. Every working native of this country should hate nuLabour with venom. Three wars,busted economy, 5 million poor unwanted guests,7-7 and generation of native youngsters condemned to the dole,drugs and booze agenda....and that's just for starters. Dave and his bunch of cronies are just another cheek on the same backside as nuLabour.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • What these nuLabour twonks won't tell you, is that they're trying to make money of people,however, the last round cost the taxpayer a hefty wad due to the low take up and after setting up costs.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • “The council also needs to be more transparent about the process as it is not clear who is making what money out of this"...I'll answer that question for the green Councillor, .ichoosr sell all the information they gather from applicants, this can be energy firms or tom,dick and mohammad third parties. Out of the effortless cash driver,they hand over £10 to brenda and chums at city hall.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Wednesday, January 23, 2013

  • every single person who registered could have saved more by looking on a comparison website. waste of time no discount was offered by the energy suppliers.

    Report this comment

    michael

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Peter, I nearly choked on my cuppa!!! Look old bean, done that and got m*gged twice in political terms...welsh windbag and the war criminal Blair. nuLabour abandoned us natives for shedloads of cash and the EU Disney farce.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Mad maybe,nrg but still able to give credit where credit is due and Labour Norwich is on peoples' side in getting fuel bills down in these tough times.Very good point about those who are on metered fuel who the power companies exploit the most.One Nation Labour needs people like nrg.,Why don't you join us?

    Report this comment

    Peter Watson

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • These schemes are bound to fail as the big six energy companies have the power and money to push up the auction prices by bidding against them. We will never get cheap energy prices until the power of this cartel is broken, preferably by nationalisation. We all saw our tariffs increase a few months back at the same time as wholesale gas prices went down, yet this was not publicised by our seemingly compliant media.

    Report this comment

    Derek Colman

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • There we have it - Labour looking at ways to help people and the knockers spring into a knee-jerk reaction. Try focusing your criticism on central govt policies that are driving more and more of us into fuel poverty.

    Report this comment

    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Peter Watson, are you mad??? look back at the last round, a big failure. No people on meters were taken aboard...Time for a reality check methinks Peter.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • The EDP: always quick to give column inches to some whinger as long as its knocking Labour.

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    Police Commissioner ???

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Getting away from political rantings...does the person who will be saving £500plus have a hot tub in the garden or a heated pool?? Our yearly spend on electric is 200 sobs.

    Report this comment

    nrg

    Tuesday, January 22, 2013

  • Oh yes, and please don't go on blaming TB for being a war crim. Didn't you know God made him do it. Consider the many miracles during his time ... during his speech to the party conference the Lord spoke unto him "remove thy jacket, Tone" and lo his shirt had turned into water ... or the smiting of IDS that followed, or could it have been the prince of darkness, or the Meekon? You know I find they all merge into a terrible nightmare of perpetual opposition, but just imagine if any of them had beaten TB you wouldn't have lovely Mr C as PM, rescuing the UK.

    Report this comment

    Mr Cameron Isaliar

    Thursday, January 24, 2013

The views expressed in the above comments do not necessarily reflect the views of this site

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