Updated: Monday, 17th February 2020 @ 2:59pm

'Don't miss out': Deadline day for Greater Manchester residents to save cash with energy-switching scheme

'Don't miss out': Deadline day for Greater Manchester residents to save cash with energy-switching scheme

By Aimee Howarth

Oldham residents who saved hundreds of pounds through the council’s collective energy switching scheme have urged others to sign up to the Greater Manchester initiative before tonight’s 11pm deadline.

The ‘bulk-buying’ campaign allows a large group of customers to enter a ‘reverse auction’ together to get a cheaper deal from energy companies, slashing fuel bills by up to £250.

The Greater Manchester Energy Switching Scheme was launched at the start of January after a successful project by Oldham Council last year helped more than 8,000 residents reduce their payments.

Ahead of tonight’s 11pm deadline, more than 32,900 participants have already registered for the scheme, which residents believe will help tackle soaring fuel prices.

Geoff Haigh, from Saddleworth, who was told he would save £330, said: “Ordinary people need to stand up against these big companies, so let’s band together and get a decent saving.”

The scheme, which is backed by Greater Manchester’s ten local authorities, is open to everyone in the UK and is available to residents who use pre-payment meters.

Residents just need to produce a copy of their current energy bill to register an interest and anyone who enters will receive an offer for a new rate, which they do not have to accept.

After the scheme closes, the group will enter a ‘reverse auction’ to get cheaper gas and electricity prices from energy firms.

Councillor Arooj Shah, Assistant Cabinet Member at Oldham Council, said: “The sign up rate for the Greater Manchester Energy Switching Scheme has been great – but the clock is ticking so don’t miss out.

“With a recent energy bill to hand it only takes five minutes to register and this is a really simple opportunity to save money.

"The more people that join this, the greater the potential savings for everyone who takes part - and there's no pressure or obligation to switch providers if don’t want to later on.

“Thanks to the Oldham Council-led scheme residents across the Borough have saved a lot of money off their energy bills.

“With the money you save you can put it towards other costs such as house and contents insurance, things you may not have been able to afford before.”

Paul Lambert, 56, from Oldham, slashed more than £470 off his fuel bills after applying when his costs continued to rise despite his children leaving home for college and university.

“The more people sign up for this the better, because this means that these big energy companies aren’t getting their own way,” he said.

“There’s always better bargaining power in numbers, with people doing it as a collective. You can always opt out of it if you don’t feel secure with the offer.”

To register your interest in the collective bulk-buy scheme, visit www.gmfairenergy.com or call 0800 009 3363.

Picture courtesy of CraftyGoat, with thanks.

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