UK Together announces results of its first nationwide collective energy saving buying initiative. Over 3,700 switches to better deals and UK savings of £282,000 on annual energy bills.
The first round of UK Together, the national collective switching initiative, closed at midnight this Sunday, March 17, with thousands of members saving hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.
In total the UK Together collective energy switching projects, Cornwall Together, Exeter Together, Birmingham and Solihull Together and Scots Together saw 3794 switches to better energy deals. This resulted in 2261 households across the UK benefiting from cheaper gas and electricity prices.
The average household’s energy saving achieved was £125 a year making total national saving across the United Kingdom of £282,000. The highest individual saving achieved was in Birmingham and Solihull where one household saved over £1,000.
UK Together, was developed from the success of Cornwall Together, a pilot collective energy buying project, pioneered in Autumn 2012.
UK Together and its local partners used a number of different messaging and marketing approaches across the projects to engage communities in each area and gain insights into people’s attitudes towards energy buying.
Marketing tactics included:
- National Switch Day campaign to raise awareness
- A viral video highlighting energy apathy
- MP Ben Bradshaw speaking with constituents from a double-decker bus in Exeter
- A robot character called Mr Switch raising awareness in Exeter
- A Birmingham and Solihull ad campaign at an Aston Villa game
- A documentary film exploring fuel poverty
- Roadshows took place across all areas including a ‘travelling shed’ and roving VW Campervans in Cornwall.
The regional campaign teams worked with local radio stations and regional print media to further engage with the public and build the trust in the brand which while new, aimed to inspire people to start thinking about how they could potentially save hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.
In the coming weeks, the results of an in-depth research project which has examined attitudes to energy, will be released.
Abbie Brook, Manager of UK Together, said: “We are impressed with the energy and commitment that the partners put into UK Together and the fantastic community engagement achieved. We now have some interesting insights into attitudes to energy buying and how to talk to people about their domestic energy decisions.”
Matt Hastings, Programme Manager for Cornwall Together, said: “We have completed our next step on the road to putting the power back in the hands of communities and have saved Cornish households hundreds of thousands of pounds in the process.”
Now the big question is: how can we apply this group-buying philosophy to other areas of our lives and start to completely re-model the relationship between people and companies?
Conceived by the Eden Project, Cornwall Together was developed by Eden, Cornwall Council, the NHS and Community Energy Plus, aiming to bring people together to reduce fuel poverty, encourage sustainability and community resilience.
They were joined by Cornwall-based community energy platform, energyshare, and uSwitch, the independent price comparison and switching service, as well as local partners in each region including Exeter City Council, Birmingham City Council, Solihull Metropolitan Borough Council, Buy For Good and Changeworks.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change supported UK Together as part of its Cheaper Energy Together programme.
Those who would like to register their interest in being involved in any future rounds of UK Together can still do so by visiting the website (www.uktogether.com).
UK Together is an Eden Project, managed by energy platform, energyshare, working with uSwitch, the independent price comparison and switching service, as delivery partner. Over 10,000 people joined their first collective switching initiative in Cornwall, Cornwall Together in November 2012.