Bosses at Doncaster Council have signed a deal which they hope could help slash residents’ energy bills.
The authority has signed a deal with Nottingham based Robin Hood Energy, which it expects to open the door to lower bills for families living in the borough.
The arrangement, which is to be signed this week, means that Doncaster Council will be able to provide its own specific energy offer using its own brand, with Robin Hood Energy the licenced supplier.
The aim of the partnership is to provide low cost, fair and transparent pricing and choice along with excellent customer service to all local residents.
Doncaster Mayor Ros Jones said: “Reducing the cost of living for people in Doncaster has long been a priority for me, too many of our residents are getting unfair deals and paying far too much for their gas and electricity. This partnership can provide a real alternative for all of our residents and particularly be a vital help to those living in fuel poverty.
“We have already had some great success in working to reduce the cost of energy bills for people in Doncaster. The ‘Big Power Switch’ has made a difference to plenty of our residents over the last few years, and along with other schemes like home insulation we’ve managed to save a lot of money from household bills. This project is the next step in making sure as many homes in Doncaster have the choice of a competitive tariff and as few residents as possible are suffering due to the cost of living.
“High fuel prices have really eaten into the budgets of many hard working families. This project will make a real difference in lowering our energy bills both now and in the future.”
The as yet unnamed project will be open to the whole of Doncaster, but will particularly target those currently getting a poor deal from the ‘Big 6’ energy providers and living in fuel poverty. This is especially the case for residents who use pre-payment meters who the council says can who can pay up to 30 per cent more for the same fuel.
In 2013, 9.8 per cent (12,676) of households in Doncaster were defined as fuel poor. In February 2014, Doncaster Council launched the ‘Big Power Switch’ in a bid to get a better energy deal for local residents by ‘collective switching’. Since then, 1,759 households are thought to have save a total of more than £413,000 by paying a lower energy tariff through to the scheme. Other initiatives have included insulating homes, installing modern heating and acquiring solar panels to reduce electricity costs.
This scheme aims to provide even more opportunity for Doncaster residents to save on their bills. With the goal of providing lower cost energy and ultimately a lower cost of living, the scheme will particularly target those using pre-payment meters. It will be able to offer suitable, fairer tariffs and will also look to provide tenants and residents with smart meters to gain a better understanding of how much gas and electricity they are using and how much it costs.
Robin Hood Energy was launched by Nottingham Council and was the UK’s first local authority owned energy supply company. Doncaster Council says Their influence on the market has seen the East Midlands become the cheapest region in the country for domestic users to buy gas and electricity.
Details of the new scheme, along with its Doncaster name, will be released in the coming months.