Residents across Greater Manchester are to save more than £3m as part of the UK’s biggest energy switching scheme.
More than 35,000 people signed up for the GM Fair Energy scheme throughout January – more than applied to join any other energy switching project of its kind in the country – with some set to make savings of nearly £900 a year.
Those who registered for the scheme, led by Greater Manchester councils, were placed into a ‘reverse auction’ and will be offered new energy deals over the next few days.
Many people can expect to make large savings, with big companies such as ScottishPower, Ovo and Co-operative Energy successfully joining the auction. ScottishPower’s bid was the first time one of the ‘big six’ energy companies has successfully entered an energy switching auction.
One dual fuel customer will be offered a saving of £892 per year, while another resident will be offered a saving of £770.
Deals will also been made available for people on pre-payment meters for the first time – with one to be offered an annual saving of £295 – meaning some of the area’s poorest people will be able to slash their bills.
The total saving to be offered to people across Greater Manchester is £3.1m with an average saving of around £122 a year.
Some people who applied for the scheme may not be offered discounts – as they will already be on cheaper tariffs – but the huge number of people who registered meant that larger savings were available for most households.
The scheme was run following the success of a similar project run by Oldham Council last year, in which many households were able to save hundreds from their annual bills.
Although it was targeted directly at people living in Greater Manchester, it was open to anyone in the UK to join.
Another energy switching scheme will be held in the spring and residents can register their interest now by visiting www.gmfairenergy.com.
Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council and chairman of the Greater Manchester Low Carbon Hub, said: "This has been the most successful scheme of its kind, with Greater Manchester residents saving more than £3m from their bills.
"The sheer number of people who registered demonstrates the appetite there currently is for projects of this kind, while the fact that one of the ‘big six’ energy companies successfully joined the auction shows that the industry is now taking schemes like this seriously.
"There is still much work to be done, with thousands of people in Manchester and beyond living in fuel poverty. Those who didn’t register for this scheme have not missed the boat as we will be arranging a similar energy switching project over the next few months and I’d urge anyone who wants to save money to register their interest."