Labour Councillors in Rotherham are set to agree a new scheme that could help to slash energy prices for local people. The proposed community energy switching scheme would see the Council partner with an energy company to create new low-cost energy tariffs specifically for Rotherham residents. The Council predicts that the new tariffs would cut energy bills by around £200 to £300 per year in an average 3-bedroom semi-detached houses.
Although the scheme would be open to everyone in Rotherham, it will be particularly beneficial to people who haven’t switched their supplier previously, who are likely to be on lower incomes. The Council will also explore offering a green, renewable energy option.
By reducing the number of households paying high tariffs for gas and electricity, the scheme will tackle the serious problem of fuel poverty. One in ten households in the country are living in fuel poverty, one in five of which are pensioners. Age UK has previously estimated that health problems caused by living in cold homes cost the NHS in England £1.36 billion a year.
Cabinet Member for the Local Economy at Rotherham Council, Cllr Denise Lelliott, has said:
“The rising cost of household bills puts additional pressure on residents, especially those who can least afford it. Switching suppliers has become easier in recent years, but still too few people take up the option of cheaper tariffs. By negotiating a deal with a supplier, the council is well placed to be able to help residents to make the change and cut their bills.”
The Council’s Cabinet are set to agree the proposals at their meeting on Monday 17th December, allowing the council to seek a deal with energy suppliers. The process is expected to take about a year from this point before it becomes operational. You can read the Cabinet paper on this proposal – ‘Community Energy Switching Scheme’ – online here.