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Gloucestershire County Council is asking residents to have their say on proposals to focus on
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Make the switch, see the benefit in winter with cheaper energy bills

Published
16.08.2016

The Big Community Switch scheme, supported by Gloucestershire County Council, has started again to try and help people to save money on their gas and electricity bills ahead of the colder winter months.

The Big Community Switch works by bulk buying fuel when a large number of people want to change supplier together as they are likely to get a better deal than just one person shopping around and switching on their own.

In October last year, Gloucestershire County Council saw the highest number of households' to-date take part in the scheme, resulting in an average household saving of £224.

The Big Community Switch can also help households with pre-payment meters, making it easier to get a competitive price and save money on gas and electricity.

Pre-payment metres are installed in households so that people can keep a closer eye of how much they spend on bills, using a top up card to pay for fuel. However, those using pre-payment meters are often paying above-average tariffs and are more at risk of fuel poverty. 

In March this year, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) proposed a price cap for all households using pre-payment meters following an 18-month investigation into the energy market. The CMA found that pre-payment customers are paying more than those on standard variable tariffs.

People interested in entering do not have to live in the county, and everyone is welcome to take part.

Cllr Mark Hawthorne, leader of Gloucestershire County Council, said, "This scheme is in its fourth year now, and continues to help more and more people save money on their energy bills.

"You may think that during the summer when you use less heating and energy that there isn't any benefit, but the long term savings could help you during the colder months later in the year.

"I would recommend that everyone registers just to find out if they could save as it only takes a few minutes."

The Big Community Switch opened on 9th August. People can register online at www.gloucestershire.gov.uk/bigcommunityswitch or phone the council on 01452 425757 between 8.30am and 5pm from Monday to Friday. Information can also be found at libraries across the county.

By registering your interest you are under no obligation to switch supplier. Residents need to register their interest with the Big Community Switch by 10th October at the latest.

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