Cheaper heating bills on the cards for Edinburgh residents

A co-operative approach by Edinburgh residents could see them benefit from lower energy bills by signing up to a new “switch over” scheme.

The initiative would see residents throughout the South East of Scotland join together to make utility companies bid for their collective business.

Experience from other collaborative schemes has shown that this approach can lead to reductions of up to 50% in household energy bills.

Changeworks are introducing this scheme in partnership with the City of Edinburgh, Midlothian and West Lothian Councils and Kingdom Housing Association in Fife.

The Edinburgh Tenants Federation also support the scheme to help tenants negotiate cheaper energy prices through the Council’s co-operative housing for Edinburgh initiative.

Cllr Cammy Day, Housing Leader for the City of Edinburgh Council, said energy bills have been soaring over the last few years and this new initiative could help tackle fuel poverty.

He said: "Energy switching schemes have successfully driven down household energy bills elsewhere and are a really good example of a co-operative approach.

"We identified this as a priority with Edinburgh Tenants Federation towards the end of last year and I am delighted that we have been able to take forward this initiative.

"I want to encourage everyone in the city and throughout the rest of the South East of Scotland to sign up. The more who sign up the more we can get people’s fuel bills reduced and help address the issue of fuel poverty."

Betty Stevenson, Convenor of Edinburgh Tenants Federation said: "This is just the sort of initiative tenants have been calling for. Fuel prices are hitting tenants hard. This is an excellent opportunity for everyone to get together and get a better deal from their energy provider."

The Council is at the forefront of promoting energy efficiency schemes which have resulted in:

  • Communal heating systems being installed at Cables Wynd House and at Greendykes & Wauchope Houses
  • Over 6,000 homes insulated through the Universal Home Insulation Scheme paid for by grants from the Scottish Government
  • A 47% reduction in carbon emissions from Council homes over the past 20 years  

Households have until 17 March 2013 to sign up and can do this by going to the Scots Together website.

Alternatively there is a Freephone advice line - 0800 408 0155.

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