A partnership of 30 organisations including charities, local authorities and housing associations will today launch the Cheaper Energy Together Community Partnership to help bring cheaper energy to households across the UK through a new initiative funded by the Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC).Community Partnership to bring cheaper energy to fuel poor The Cheaper Energy Together partnership, led by not-for-profit the Peoples Power, will provide a collective and instant energy switching service to get households a better deal through the power of group buying, and will also offer free energy saving advice and support.The project, which will be open to all UK households, will have a particular focus on those facing fuel poverty, and those who have not switched before. Residents will be able to sign up online, on the phone, or at a series of local events over the next two months, before a big community switch is held in March.Energy Secretary Edward Davey said the DECC funding would help “drive forward collective purchasing and switching initiatives at a local level, helping consumers get a better deal on their energy bills”.”We need to find new ways to help people with their energy bills, working with communities and councils across the country” he said. “I am delighted so many organisations want to run new co-operative schemes to help people, especially the fuel poor, to get the best deals in the market.”Involving dedicated community and voluntary organisations based in and around the Midlands, the Community Partnership hopes to tackle some of the worse fuel poverty levels in England: In the counties of Herefordshire and Worcestershire fuel poverty affects over 32% of households, compared to the national average of just over 16%. All organisations involved are not-for-profit. The switching service will be completely free to consumers and a small referral fee will be charged to energy suppliers of between £5 and £8 per switch (far less than the industry average of £40-£70 per switch). All referral fees will contribute to the cost of running the initiative, no profits will be made.If you’d like to sign up for cheaper energy together, then visit www.cheaperenergytogether.org. Signing up is free, easy and there is no obligation. You can also call the project free-phone helpline on 0800 888 6611.
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