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Families club together to drive down energy bills

By Western Morning News  |  Posted: February 18, 2013

Alexandra Davidson with her daughter and husband Russell, at the launch of the Exeter Together campaign

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This family are taking part in a revolutionary saving scheme promising to drive down energy bills.

Residents are urged to join the collective energy buying scheme called Exeter Together designed to offer them huge savings on their fuel bills.

Exeter City Council brought the scheme to the region and hopes that more than 10,000 people could reduce their energy bills by up to 26%.

The scheme generated collective savings of £160,000 when it ran in Cornwall last year, with participants making savings of around £135 each.

The Davidsons, a family of three from Wonford in Exeter, are hoping they could save at least £100 off their annual heating bill.

Russell Davidson said: "I heard about the campaign and I was intrigued. We only ever compare fuel bills and check the market every couple of years. We know we should do it more often, but we never find the time and keep putting it off. The idea of joining a collective buying scheme is really appealing."

Councillor Rachel Sutton, Exeter City Council's lead councillor for sustainable development and transport, said: "The Davidsons' story is a great example of how families could save money – and the good news is that the savings will increase as more and more people join the scheme.

"We are really excited to have the scheme in Exeter as we will be the fourth 'lead' community in the UK to make the benefits of collective buying power a reality. This is an enormous opportunity as the more people that switch, the lower the unit price of our energy.

Councillor Sutton added: "It is important for people to understand that as neighbours, community members and local businesses sign-up they will all benefit from the same great saving on their utility bill."

Exeter MP Ben Bradshaw, who has backed the scheme, said: "Exeter Together could potentially help so many local people save money off their utility bills. It is really important people spread the word and encourage friends and family members to switch too as the more people that join, the greater the potential savings."

Edward Davey, secretary of state for energy and climate change, said: "I believe collective purchasing and switching have huge potential to increase engagement in energy markets and ensure consumers get a fair deal. We want to make it easier for consumers to club together and use their collective purchasing power to reduce their gas and electricity bills and reduce the costs of other goods and services."

For more information on the scheme that goes live today visit www.exetertogether.com

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