Wealden residents have saved a total of £138,024 on their energy bills by taking part in this year’s Big Wealden Switch.
The Big Wealden Switch is run by Wealden District Council and iChoosr.
“Some 548 householders took part in this year’s Big Wealden Switch and they have been able to save, on average, £250 a year on their domestic energy bills,” said Councillor Ray Cade, Wealden Cabinet member for Housing and Benefits. “By encouraging residents to work together through iChoosr to make a bid in ongoing energy supply auctions, they have the opportunity to get a much better deal on their energy bills. However, it is always up to the individual as to whether they decide to take up a new contract with an energy supplier or not.”
The more people join together to take part in the auction, the more attractive it is for the power companies to supply them with electricity and gas. To persuade more people to take part in energy supply auctions this year, iChoosr sponsored a prize draw for people who encouraged friends to sign up and switch. The £500 prize draw was won in Wealden by a lady who was helped to complete the online application by her daughter:
“We sat over a coffee in a café and I asked her to help me, and she did it then and there!” she explained.
Working with Hailsham Food Bank, Wealden District Council is also launching a scheme to help people on low incomes with their energy bills. People referred through their local Food Bank will be able to have extra top-up payments loaded up on to the smartcard or key they use for their pre-payment meter. Some 15% of households in Britain are on pre-payment meters, and around 140,000 of these households disconnected themselves from their energy supply last year because they could not afford to top up their pre-payment meters. This can lead to physical and mental health issues.
“This is a way we can work with voluntary organisations like Citizens Advice and the Hailsham Food Bank to get a better deal for local people who are struggling to make ends meet,” said Councillor Cade.
Big Wealden Switch applicants were entered in to one of two auctions that took place this spring, depending on when they applied. Savings vary, according to household usage and previous energy supplier. In the four years which Wealden District Council has been running the Big Wealden Switch with iChoosr, they have helped save Wealden residents £471,676 on their energy bills.
The next Big Wealden Switch campaign will take place in 2020. Further details will be announced in due course.