West Norfolk Council is one of five local authorities in the county looking to use group bargaining power to save its residents money on their energy bills.
It is urging borough residents to sign up to the Big Switch and Save scheme which, it says, could lead to their energy bills being slashed by an average of £160 a year.
This scheme involves people joining together in a bulk-buying group. Since it opened in Norfolk on March 1, 16,246 people have already registered their interest.
Residents have until April 8 to sign up to the special website www.bigswitchandsave.co.uk and submit their details to be included in the ‘reverse auction’ to find the cheapest energy tariff for those householders.
Those without Internet access can sign up by calling 01553 616200 or going to the council offices to register.
A council spokesman said: “By grouping hundreds or even thousands of households together it is possible to negotiate much lower energy tariffs than if individuals were changing suppliers on their own.
“Schemes elsewhere in the country have seen residents save an average of £160 per year on their bills.
“The more households who join, the stronger the bargaining power to drive down individual energy bills.”
In early April, the group of councils will go to an auction where energy suppliers compete to make the best offer to those customers who applied for a cheaper deal on electricity and gas.
This deal is then offered to those who signed up so they can see how much they could save compared to their existing tariff and decide whether to change to the new rate – and there’s no obligation to change.
If the householder opts to change to the new tariff, the switch of supplier will be carried out automatically.
Adrian Lawrence, the borough council’s cabinet member for community, said: “Registering is quick and easy – all you need is a recent energy bill or, for best results, one year’s worth of bills, then just enter the required information online.”
How can I help?
Encourage as many people as possible to sign up for the Big Switch and Save scheme by the April 8 closing date and spread the word among your friends and family.
Can those without the Internet use my email address?
It is possible to register up to five households on the same email address, so neighbours and family can help each other.