Even though anyone from the UK can join our collective switch which will be held on the 31st of March, we’re using a grant from the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) to promote the collective switch and provide advice in communities with particularly high rates of fuel poverty.
There are now more than 30 not-for-profit organisations in the Cheaper Energy Together partnership, and the list is growing. We all have different specialisms, be it providing social housing, energy efficiency or money-saving advice. What unites us all? A commitment to getting UK households cheaper energy.
Targetting the people who will benefit most
Rising energy bills have affected and continue to affect us all. But the huge cost of energy in the UK affects some more than others. There are now 3.5 million people in the UK suffering from fuel poverty, that’s more than 16% of the population. Within this staggering statistic are people who can’t cope with year-on-year price rises. These could include the elderly, those dealing with long-term illness, people without internet access, families with young children and those reliant on benefits.
We are using the funding provided by DECC to target exactly these kinds of people, so that they don’t get excluded from the ‘switching classes’ (people who save money on their energy bills by shopping around).
What we’re doing
We’re promoting this collective switch to every household in the UK- no one is excluded, because everyone is struggling at the moment (ourselves included!). But we’re putting special effort into involving the people who need help the most:
- We’ve got a freephone number so that people without internet access or computers at home can join us;
- We’re telling people about the Cheaper Energy Together initiative in our roles as advice providers;
- We’re putting up posters in public places and doing interviews with local radio stations;
- We’re providing free memberships to heating oil cooperatives;
- We’re encouraging more and more community-focused not-for-profits to join our partnership and promote our initiative;
- We’ve also been providing free energy saving and efficiency advice to our members, because energy companies aren’t the only ones who raise our bills unnecessarily- we do too!
Our progress so far
As a new initiative we’ve had a fantastic start. Nearly 3,000 people have joined Cheaper Energy Together, and we still have three weeks to go until our auction. We’ve also asked people who’ve joined to give us a bit more information (voluntarily) so we can measure our progress in getting people involved who need cheaper energy the most.
We are proud to say that our efforts have been worthwhile. More than half of our members include households which we have specifically targeted! This includes households that;
- have no internet access,
- receive benefits,
- include children under 5 years,
- contain people over 65 years,
- include people who suffer from long-term illness,
- and have not switched energy suppliers.
To give you an example, in our last count over a thousand of our members have not switched energy supplier in the last three years. Why does it matter that these people haven’t switched recently? Because UK households collectively waste a shocking £3.5 billion pounds by not switching supplier, that’s why. We reckon that getting these households to switch will show them how much they can save by changing suppliers, that way they’ll keep shopping around, and saving hundreds of pounds as a result!
With your help we can do more!
We’re really proud of our work bringing collective switching to those who need it most. If you would like to help us promote our work either as an organisation or individual we’d love to hear from you. Whether it’s putting up a poster in your local shop or post office, including something in your newsletter or website or even having a local energy advice session- it will all make a real difference and could help lift dozens, hundreds and even thousands of people out of fuel poverty.