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Energy Switch

Photo left to right: Cllr Hazel Thorpe (Worthing), Cllr David Simmons (Adur), Matt Roberts (Energy and Sustainability Manager), Tom Wye, Cllr Mike Mendoza (Adur)

PR13-087 - Adur & Worthing Councils energy switching - have you signed up


Welcome to the Adur & Worthing Big Community Switch

Big Community Switch

Fed up with high energy bills? Energy bills are now one of the biggest costs facing households.

Take action now by joining Adur & Worthing Councils' Big Community Switch scheme!

We have been a part of this scheme since 2014 and we are keen for you to be a part of it too!

  • Average anticipated saving per household - £165
  • Biggest anticipated saving by a single household - £642
  • Percentage of registered households switching to a new, cheaper deal - 36%

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What is Community Energy Buying?

Our Energy Buying Club has been set up to enable people in the West Sussex area to see how much they can save on energy bills through a collaborative approach. It's our way of helping you save money on your home energy bills.

It works by getting as many residents as possible to register an interest in taking part - the more residents that register, the better price we can potentially get from the energy suppliers, and the more money you can save.

There are three auction rounds per year, and for each auction we aim to create a large group of residents with the intention to compare, switch and save.

It's easy, free and safe; there is no obligation to sign up to the new offer, and we provide support and guidance throughout the registration and switching process.

For an article about community energy buying please see:

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How it works

iChoosr

We have partnered up with the UK's number one energy community buyer, iChoosr, to help people band together to negotiate a better deal for your electricity and gas supply. By signing up to our energy buying 'club' you will receive prices so you can compare them against your current costs, completely obligation free.

With iChoosr, we will organise an auction with the energy suppliers and you will receive a personal offer by email or post. You can then decide if you would like to switch to the new energy supplier.

There are four main steps:

  • Register your details with the scheme by going online, or phoning our helpline on 01903 221461
  • Then, at pre-set auction dates, iChoosr will negotiate the best price with UK energy companies. They do this by putting all the households who have registered through similar clubs across the UK into a single group to get the best energy prices
  • iChoosr will contact you by email or letter detailing the price offer
  • If you like the offer you can accept and ask to switch to the new supplier, which is a fixed price and contract for twelve months.

However, if you decide that you do not want to switch there is no obligation to do so, and you can either wait until the next time prices are issued, which will be about 3 or 4 months later, or withdraw from the scheme.

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Interested? Then here's what to do next ...

Option 1 - go online to:

Option 2 - call our designated phone help line on 01903 221461

We look forward to you saving money on your future energy bill, giving you more money in your pocket.

Any questions? Please see our frequently asked questions below:

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Frequently Asked Questions - FAQs

Please select a Frequently Asked Question from the list below:

 

1. Why are Adur & Worthing Councils offering an energy buying club?

We know that many people rarely, if ever, switch their energy supplier and we would like to see these people get a better deal. We want to provide an opportunity to get a competitive price for their energy supplies so that they can save money, and perhaps stay warmer during the cold winter months.

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2. What's in it for Adur & Worthing Councils?

As well as seeing the economic and well-being benefits for people on cheaper energy tariffs, for every single person switching a utility under this scheme we will receive a payment of £5.50.

We intend to recycle any of the money received in this manner back into the scheme so that we can better help more people, particularly those who do not regularly switch or those in need of better energy deals due to their circumstances.

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3. Why are Adur & Worthing Councils running this scheme?

We want people to compare and save, no matter how they do it. We know that many people rarely, if ever, switch their energy supplier and we would like to see people get a better deal and, perhaps as a result, help them stay warmer during the cold winter months.

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4. How does the scheme work?

We have partnered up with the UK's number one community energy buyer, iChoosr. The scheme works by getting as many residents as possible to register their interest - the more residents that register, the better price as we can potentially get from the energy suppliers.

Once people have been given a chance to sign up, iChoosr will approach the energy suppliers for prices, and the winning price will be notified to everyone so they can compare and decide.

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5. I'm on a prepay meter - how can I benefit from this scheme?

We especially want to help people on prepay arrangements. While we cannot guarantee that we can beat your current arrangement, we encourage you to sign up to see if we can!

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6. When will I get my price offers?

That's up to iChoosr, but there are currently at least three price offers every 12 months.

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7. Has this scheme been done elsewhere before?

Yes. Councils across the UK piloted this idea in response to funding from central government (in 2012).

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8. Who is iChoosr?

iChoosr is a private company, and the partner for most of the Local Authorities operating these schemes in the UK.

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9. What happens if I am not ready to switch now?

You are under no obligation to switch at any time. We want you to be completely ready, so you decide when to register. If you choose not to switch when you receive an offer you will need to sign up for the next scheme, again when you are ready.

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10. If I register with the scheme will I be charged in any way?

No. There is no cost to you from either Adur District Council, Worthing Borough Council or iChoosr.

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11. How do I register?

There are three options. If you have access to the internet please use option 1:

Option 1 - go online to the:

Option 2 - call our designated phone help line on 01903 221461

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12. What do I need to know when I register?

As well as the usual details about you, we will ask for some information about your current energy tariff - specifically, who supplies you, what tariff you are on (this is usually on your bill) and roughly how much it costs every year for your electricity and gas if you know it, or how many kWh you use (again, this is on your bill).

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13. If I decide to switch, what happens then?

If you tell iChoosr that you want to take up the offer they will arrange this with the energy company, who will send you a contract. Once you sign up you will be transferred to the new prices, This usually takes about 28 days. You will have eight days to change your mind, should you have second thoughts or find a better deal elsewhere.

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14. Are the offered prices the cheapest anywhere in the market?

No. We cannot guarantee there is no better price for your individual circumstances. As such we encourage you to research the market as thoroughly as possible, and if you can get a better price elsewhere that's great! A good place to start is through the 'Comparison websites'

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15. What happens if I move house?

The price may change when you move house. If you plan to move please check before signing up to the new contract.

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16. The contract period is 12 months - what happens after that?

At the end of the contract it is up to you what happens next. However, if you do nothing and stay with that supplier it is likely they will increase their prices and you may not be getting a competitive price. We encourage you to come back to us at that time for another price through the scheme.

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17. Will you remind or approach me with a new offer when my contract ends?

No. We encourage you to come back to us at that time for another price through the scheme.

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18. What happens if there is a penalty when I switch to the new price offer?

That is your decision, but you will be responsible for any early exit penalties. We will not pay for any of these penalties for you.

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19. Am I obliged to make use of the offer?

No - you choose if, and when, you want to switch.

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20. Can I accept the price offer over the phone?

No - you will need to complete paperwork for the contract, so this cannot be done over the phone.

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21. If I don't want to accept the offer do I have to pay an administration fee?

No - participation in the scheme is completely free of charge.

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22. How much will I save?

There is no guarantee that you will save anything, although we hope you will. Every person's situation is different, so even if we can offer a preferential tariff this will differ for every person differently from what they were paying before.

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23. I'm on direct debit - can I still pay by direct debit on the new contract?

Energy suppliers like people to pay by direct debit, so this is likely to be a payment option, although we cannot guarantee this.

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24. Will my direct debit be as low as it is now?

We can't promise this as the energy suppliers set the direct debit amounts.

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25. If I take up the offer from the winning energy supplier will I be able to change my mind afterwards?

You will have eight days after signing up to the new contract to change your mind.

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26. Can you promise me an offer for every type of contract?

No, we cant. The types of contracts requested on a given pricing round is dependent on who has registered.

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Disclaimer about Adur and Worthing Big Community Switch

The Councils have been as transparent and open as possible in providing information about the energy switching scheme provided by iChoosr.

The Councils shall not be responsible for any event which arises from your opting to enter into the iChoosr scheme and any subsequent contract for the energy supply with any chosen supplier; nor shall the Councils be responsible in the event that your existing energy supplier makes any charge for your switching energy providers and you are advised to check all details prior to switching.

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