Coldstream residents are about to get the opportunity to reduce their energy bills and raise money for the local community centre at the same time.
Coldstream Community Trust, which runs the community centre, has joined NEPO (North-East Procurement Organisation) which has an annual spend on electricity of £59 million and £31 million on gas, giving members access to the best possible energy prices - npower currently supply electricity and Corona the gas.
Coldstream residents could save between £200 and £300 a year on fuel costs and for every household dual fuel switch (gas and electricity) Coldstream Community Trust will receive £11. For an individual switch - gas or electricity - the income is £5.50.
Two Coldstream residents have taken part in a practice run with Sedgefield Development Trust Scheme (also members of NEPO).
John Elliot, at Lees Mill Drive, said: “I was with a national company, tied into a dual-fuel contract, but I was alerted to the energy switch scheme at the point of my contract ending. Obtaining a quote through the Sedgefield Trust scheme, which linked into the national scheme, was very easy and I received a quote within 48 hours. The end result is, I’m saving just under £300pa.
Gerald Tait, Coldstream resident and member of Coldstream Community Trust, said: “Like John, we are very satisfied with our energy switch. It’s so simple to do. We had to pay an exit penalty with our existing supplier but despite this we’re saving about £195 pa”.
From August 4, 2015, Coldstream households can register on the scheme via a link on the Coldstream Community Trust website, with a month’s window before the national bidding process.
Gerald explained: “The auction by NEPO with energy suppliers is on October 13; offers prices are sent to households on October 23; and the launch closes on November 15.
“Not every household receives a positive quote but over 60% do, saving an average £200 for each household.”
“We have 30 Coldstream households interested already but want a lot more - we’re aiming for 100 households to begin with.”
Households or businesses interested can contact Gerald on 01890-882685.