Oldham residents who are worried about rising energy bills are being urged to switch to a better deal using a new comparison website.
The www.betterenergydeals.org.uk site has been launched by the Greater Manchester authorities, including Oldham Council, after many of the big energy companies announced they will be increasing their rates over the winter, leaving some families struggling to pay their bills.
Residents are being urged to visit the site, being launched today (November 13), before the first price rises come into effect, to find out how much they could save by changing to another supplier. Just enter your post code and information about how much you are currently paying to find suggestions for alternative suppliers offering cheaper contracts. You’ll also be given information about how long those contracts have been ‘fixed’ for – meaning if you decide to switch suppliers will know exactly how long you will be paying the new price without having to worry about unexpected increases. Households using a similar comparison website have saved an average of £141 from their energy bills, while some people have saved as much as £344.
Councillor Arooj Shah, Deputy Cabinet Member for Communications and Campaigns, said: “With many of the big energy firms announcing they will be putting their prices up, households across the Borough could soon be struggling to pay their bills. I’d urge anyone who is worried about their finances to visit this site and find out how much money they can save or to find a deal which means they won’t face any big price hikes.”
To help residents get a better deal over heating, Oldham Council has been involved in three energy switching schemes, the first attracted more than 8,000 sign-ups from across the Borough. The Greater Manchester authorities have since organised a further two schemes for residents across the region. People were invited to join ‘reverse auctions’ before being offered new deals on their gas and electricity bills which they could either accept or reject.
More than 50,000 took part in both auctions – making them the most successful scheme of its kind in the country, with the vast majority of those who applied reducing their bills. The average saving was £122 per household, but some residents were able to shave as much as £900 from their annual bills. Another auction will be held early next year for people who miss the chance to find new suppliers on the new comparison site.
Cllr Shah added: “As part of our cooperative agenda Oldham will be taking part in another energy auction in the new year for people who missed their chance to switch now, but this site has been set up to help those residents who are worried they can’t wait that long.”