PORTSMOUTH City Council has launched its own energy comparison website so residents can shop around for the cheapest provider.
The service will help residents to switch their energy provider to make big savings, making it one of the first councils in the country to offer this service.
The new switching service has been unveiled in partnership with Ofgem accredited UK Power, who run the comparison engines for many of the UK’s biggest switching organisations.
The council says the search engine which powers the switches is ‘100 per cent accurate’ in determining the best supplier for the individual household circumstance and gives totally independent advice on the cheapest tariff.
In return, the website generates income back to the council through commission generated from switches. The authority receive a small amount of commission from the energy suppliers each time a resident switches a fuel and this commission goes directly into supporting and improving public services which residents rely upon.
This commission would normally be paid to the private company responsible for promoting the service, usually based somewhere else in the UK. By residents switching with Portsmouth City Council, it helps to keep this money local to them and the services that impact their lives.
It is also hoped that the money saved will be spent within the local Portsmouth economy.
Councillor Donna Jones, leader of Portsmouth City Council, said: ‘We know it has been a struggle for a lot of people.
‘We are proud to be one of the first local authorities to offer a switching service to their residents, it’s one of the easiest ways to reduce your household expenses and ensure that you’re not paying more than you need to.
‘By offering this service we can help residents save money on their gas and electricity bills, whilst ensuring it’s provided by a trusted source.
‘By partnering with UK Power and AgilityEco, we’ve been able to generate money back into the local authority, with funds going right back into supporting and sustaining council services in our city, which benefits everyone.’
‘I encourage everyone to use the site and take a look at what you could save. If you haven’t switched your tariff recently there’s the potential to save hundreds of pounds.’
The company partnering with the council, UK Power, which has built and run the website, have shown that customers switching their supplier with them saved an average of £297, based on switches made in the first six months of 2016.
To get feedback, the council circulated details of the website to its staff a week ago, and those who have used it to switch have found it simple to use.
Katherine Shadwell, a technical assistant, used the website to switch supplier for gas and electricity and achieved a saving of more than £300 from her annual bill. Katherine said: ‘I was surprised how easy it was to use. I answered a few questions and then it listed the prices available to me.
‘I’ll save £308 a year. I’m going to put the money towards next year’s holiday to visit my family in America.’
To see if you could save on your energy bills visit switch.portsmouth.gov.uk or call free on 0800 138 9078.