New Energy Support Service to help residents save money

Telford & Wrekin Council is to make it easier for residents to keep their homes warm and save money.

New Energy Support Service to help residents save money

The Council is looking to set up its own price comparison website which will cover 100% of the market, allowing residents to see all the current offers available. 

This builds on the Council’s strategy around energy which saw the completion of the Solar Farm at Wheat Leasowes. So far this has generated nearly £500,000 profit which has been used to help protect and maintain council services.

Residents who use the proposed comparison service would be able to see all the deals available to them and switch supplier. With every switch made, irrespective of which supplier has been chosen, the Council would receive a commission from this latest income generating venture to continue funding the public services it provides.

In addition, the Council is due to take part in a pilot project to provide advice and support and bring energy saving measures to ‘fuel poor’ and vulnerable households in the borough. There are currently over 6,000 households in the Borough which are considered to be in fuel poverty.

The nationally funded pilot, called ‘Local Energy Advice Programme’ (LEAP) would initially run until May during which time a small number of households will be referred to receive help which would include a home energy visit and assessment.

Telford & Wrekin Council is the only local authority in the West Midlands to be involved in this initial pilot, after which further funding is expected in order for more households to be referred for assistance.

To provide the price comparison and energy advice services, the Council’s cabinet is being asked to back teaming up with UK Power Ltd and AgilityEco Ltd to provide both services at its meeting on Thursday 2 February. If approved, the price comparison website would be fully launched later this year.

Councillor Lee Carter, Cabinet member for Council Finance, Partnerships & Commercial Services said: “It’s become easier and quicker than ever for energy customers to switch suppliers but many people don’t realise how to do it, or even that they are eligible to do it, such as those who are on pre-payment meters or in rented accommodation.

“Cold homes cost the NHS billions per year, and out-of-control energy costs are often one of the issues being encountered by those residents who come to us in crisis. Saving money on fuel costs will hopefully reduce the pressure on many household budgets. Our involvement in the Local Energy Advice Programme can begin to address these issues.

LEAP is an AgilityEco initiative and energy switching is supported by both UK Power and AgilityEco.

All households referred to LEAP will receive a home visit consisting of energy advice, the fitting of simple energy saving measures and referral to other agencies.

On average, UK Power estimates that customers switching energy supplier are forecast to save £287 per annum on their fuel bills.