Funding will help reduce fuel poverty

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PEOPLE in Northumberland are to be given a better deal on their energy bills thanks to a government grant of almost £60,000.

Northumberland County Council has been awarded the unding to support its work in helping people to get a better deal on their energy bills through a programme called ‘cheaper energy together’.

The money will allow the council to expand the work it is already doing in this area – which will see an auction for the first energy collective scheme at the end of January.

A total of 132 projects have today been awarded a share of £46m from the Government, which will be used by local authorities to help keep people’s energy bills down and reduce fuel poverty.

Organisations were invited to bid for money under three competitions by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) and Northumberland received a share of £5m allocated to set up collective switching schemes.

Money was awarded to 31 successful projects.

Northumberland is already promoting the first phase of a collective energy switching scheme – with the deadline for registrations now January 28, 2013.

Over 17,000 people have already signed up to the scheme, which is being run in partnership with 11 other councils – making it the biggest local authority led collective switching scheme in the UK.

Coun Andrew Tebbutt, executive member responsible for corporate resources at Northumberland County Council, said: “This extra funding is great news in helping people to reduce their energy bills.

“We want as many people as possible in Northumberland to find the cheapest price for their energy because we are aware that so many people struggle with their current fuel bills.”

To register for the free scheme visit www.readytoswitch.co.uk and enter your details by Monday, January 28.