Are you worried in Cleethorpes about the impact the current cold snap is having on your home heating bills? It could be time to get Ready to Switch.
North East Lincolnshire Council has joined Ready to Switch – a free scheme that could help thousands of people cut their gas and electricity bills.
As many people as possible are now needed to sign up at www.nelincs.gov.uk/readytoswitch before Monday 8 April 2013 and use their joint buying power to help drive down their home energy costs.
NELC has teamed up with more than 12 other councils across the country to make it easier for people to switch energy providers.
All you need to do is visit www.nelincs.gov.uk/readytoswitch and provide your contact details, the name of your supplier and details of your current energy usage and tariff.
If you don't have access to the internet, you could ask a friend or family member to register you (up to five separate addresses can be registered with the same email).
Staff at your local library, Customer Access Point and Children's Centre can also help if you don't have internet access – but remember to bring a copy of a recent gas and electricity bill with you.
In other parts of the country people have saved between £60 and £200 a year on their bills and the more people that sign up, the bigger the potential savings.
This is one of the largest schemes of its kind in the UK and by teaming up with other councils, NELC is helping to create a massive pool of potential customers that energy companies bid against to supply.
The councils are working with a specialist company called iChoosr who will negotiate with the energy companies on behalf of everyone signed up to the scheme to get the best tariff possible.
Over 420,000 participants have already switched suppliers thanks to iChoosr's collective switching schemes in three different countries.
Registration for the scheme will stay open until Monday 8 April 2013.
Energy suppliers are then invited to bid in a reverse auction to provide power to everyone who has signed up – estimated to be 21,000 people nationwide.
The auction will take place on 9 April and the results announced from 15 April. Offers are then sent either as an email or a letter and those who registered will have about three weeks to decide whether or not to accept the deal.
You do not have to commit once the offer has been made. More auctions will take place in the coming months so there will be other chances to take part.
At the moment the scheme is not open to businesses but it is hoped that similar benefits will be offered to small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in the near future.
Cllr Ros James, portfolio holder for Housing and Wellbeing at North East Lincolnshire Council, said: "The beauty of Ready to Switch is that it uses people power to get you cheaper power. We need as many people as possible to come together and sign up to this scheme, so when you do sign up please also ask your friends and family to do the same. People are already making big savings with this scheme in other areas. There's nothing to lose because if the offer's not right for you, you're not under any obligation to accept it. But if the offer is right, you could make savings of £200 per year."
Cllr Peter Wheatley, portfolio holder for Regeneration and Environment, said: "We're making it much easier for people to shop around for their home gas and electricity supply. With Ready to Switch you don't have to trawl the internet looking for offers, just fill in a quick online form from the link at www.nelincs.gov.uk/readytoswitch and wait for the offers to come to you. It's a hassle-free way to get a good deal on your home gas and electricity bills. There's no commitment when you register, if the offer doesn't suit you then you don't have to accept it."