Hartlepool families join forces to cut energy bills

Hartlepool Borough Council customer service centre staff Sarah Stephenson (left) and Demi Muncaster.
Hartlepool Borough Council customer service centre staff Sarah Stephenson (left) and Demi Muncaster.

HOMEOWNERS are being urged to join a collective switching scheme in a bid to save cash on gas and electricity bills.

Residents can sign up to the scheme via Hartlepool Borough Council, and then partner organisation IChooser will carry out an auction to determine the cheapest energy prices.

The more people who register, the cheaper bills will become and residents have until February 3, 2015, to show their interest.

It is estimated that people can save as much as £200 a year on their energy bills.

A similar scheme promoted by the council last year resulted in hundreds of people across the town saving money on their bills.

After the auction, the cheapest energy company will give people a no obligation quote to provide their energy for the next 12 months.

Councillor Robbie Payne, chairman of the council’s Regeneration Services Committee, said: “The council ran a similar scheme last year and we know that lots of people signed up to new deals, saving them money in the process.

“This is a no obligation scheme and there are no catches, if people don’t want to switch fuel providers once they are given a quote, they don’t have to.

“As a council we understand the hardship that many families are facing and this is just one way that they could save themselves some money.

“The scheme is not restricted just to Hartlepool residents, it is open to residents across the country and I therefore encourage as many people as possible to sign up.”

Val Evens, manager of the West View Advice and Resource Centre, described the scheme as an “excellent idea”, adding: “This will go some way to offset the additional living costs people are faced with.”

The scheme started in Belgium and Holland and councils in England have now started to launch similar initiatives.

People can start to register from today. The easiest way to register is to visit www.hartlepool.gov.uk/hartlepoolenergyswitch

Those without a computer are welcome to use those at libraries in town. Also, the council’s Customer Services Centre at the Civic Centre can help residents to complete the registration form. Call (01429) 523330. When you register, you will need your most recent gas and/or electricity bill.