Under the proposals, some households could save over £100 per year on their bills with some able to save even more. The fuel-poor and those on pre-payment meters would be likely to benefit most as a proportion of their current costs, as this is the part of the market that is least competitive. Competitive tariffs will also be available to business customers in the Borough.
Cllr Graham Longley, Executive Councillor for Enterprise, Tourism & Economic Development said: “For many years now, energy prices have continued to rise faster than average pay, making heating and lighting the home less affordable every year. For some of the poorest families in our Borough, this means sometimes having to choose between heating and eating.
“We’re determined to do what we can to help alleviate the financial pressures on local businesses and residents and I welcome these innovative proposals, which are just one of several exciting energy-based projects we will be looking to progress this year.
“The new Southend energy company would benefit all members of the local community by offering some of the cheapest tariffs on the market and possibly providing extra support for those suffering fuel poverty from income we receive through energy generation.
“The Council could also benefit by opening up new sources of income at a time of ever-reducing Central Government funding, thereby protecting essential services.”
“We settled upon OVO because of their solid record in providing some of the lowest and combined with high levels of customer service. Essentially, I believe they are big enough to make a difference but small enough to care and I personally hope to become the first resident to sign up.”
Over the coming weeks, the Council and Ovo will need to negotiate to formulate an official agreement to be signed by both parties. Once signed, a detailed implementation and marketing plan would be formed, after which the new energy company could be set up within six months.
Switch now to make instant savings
Until the launch of the Southend Energy Company later this year, the Council is once again working in collaboration with Essex County Council to offer residents and small businesses the opportunity to save on their electricity bills through the Energy Switch.
The scheme, in collaboration with iChoosr, is active and residents and businesses have until the 2 of February 2015 to register their interest without obligation.
Residents can register at: www.essex.gov.uk/energyswitch or call 0800 048 8285 before February 2nd. They will need their name and address, their current energy suppliers details and their current consumption or their current spend both of which can be found on a recent bill.
It is important to note that customers who successfully switch supplier as part of Energy Switch will need to enter a 12-month contract. This will mean they are not able to sign up to the new Southend energy company until their existing contract has expired.