Hampshireites to get cheaper electricity? Oh, wait…
Hampshire. Nice county, down at the bottom of the country. Bit slow. In the pioneering spirit of 2013, Hampshire councillors have now decided to be proactive, they want their residents to get cheaper gas and electricity and they are going to do something about it. Right now.
That’s right, the Council have decided to launch an innovative new “bulk buying” scheme allowing Hampshireites to combine their purchasing power and get a better deal from utility companies, each saving in the region of £60 to £200.
This genius original idea would involve signing up an “organisation” to register customers, identify their energy use and then negotiate with energy companies on their behalf to get the best deal as a group. They say that total savings across Hampshire could reach £25 million and could involve customers agreeing to switch suppliers up to three times a year.
What’s more, there would be no charges to the customer or any council tax payer for the service, as the organisation’s payment would come from a referral fee paid by the energy supplier.
Mel Kendal, deputy leader and executive member for environment at Hampshire County Council, said: “There are approximately 760,000 households in Hampshire. If two per cent sign up to switch energy supplier through our collective energy switching service, this would give a combined purchasing power of just over 15,000 customers.” 15,000. Golly. That’s almost 7% of 230,000 customers.
She continued: “That is a big amount of business for any energy company, so by bulk buying the deal should be better. Clearly, the more people who sign up, the more negotiating power we will have – so it is vital as many people as possible register for the scheme,” once the Council give it the green light on 22 January.
This is such a brilliant idea, we’re amazed someone else didn’t think of it first. Someone like the Big Switch, say, who had over 230,000 people sign up, only to discover the major energy companies wouldn’t play ball and to end up with a very limited not-necessarily-cheaper deal, which could even be beaten on the market.
Still, we wish Hampshire all the best. Tell 2012 we said hello.