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Collective switching catches on in UK

On average, switchers save £100 a year on energy bill

The house in human handsMore than 100,000 people across the UK have slashed their energy bills by up to £250 thanks to collective switching schemes, it has been revealed.

New research published by the Independent reveals that the 100,000 people who have joined collective switching schemes have benefitted from an average £100-a-year reduction in their energy bills.

The savings range from £65 to £250, and the popularity of the initiatives looks set to continue, with the number of councils offering them having doubled since the start of the year.

A switch in time

The schemes work by bringing together a cooperative of residents, council members and businesses to put pressure on energy suppliers to offer better deals.

The idea is that the work of many hands will be more effective than a few, and the results have been tangible, with the big six and smaller suppliers often caving in to the demands of collective switchers and offering more competitive deals.

In the space of 12 months, when South Lakeland District Council  launched the first-ever local, government-run collective switching scheme, the number of council-run schemes has risen to 65 and will increase even further in the months ahead, predicts Peter Fleming, chair of the Local Government Association’s Improvement Board.

Plenty more to come

He told the Independent: “As a concept, collective switching is still really in its infancy. This time last year there were no schemes being run in this country, now there are more than 65 councils helping 100,000 residents save more than £10 million. Imagine how many millions we could help people save by this time next year?”

Rather than simply being about saving people money on their energy bills, Mr Fleming said it can help vulnerable members of the community to switch supplier without feeling intimidated or pressured by them, Mr Fleming concluded.

The future appears to be bright for collective switching schemes, with councils across the UK expressing their interest in supporting further schemes and helping to save thousands of more consumers money on their energy bills.