Cornwall’s collective energy buying scheme

Cornwall together is a ground-breaking collective buying scheme which aims to tackle fuel poverty by helping households save millions of pounds through cheaper energy tariffs. 

Hand holding electricity and gas bill

The Eden Project is one of the partners behind Cornwall Together, an initiative to help households save money on energy bills, by negotiating cheaper energy tariffs on their behalf.

The collective buying scheme is thought to be the first of its kind at a county level. It is hoped that, by speaking as a single, more powerful unit, more than 20,000 people may be able to reduce their energy bills by 10-15%, saving Cornwall an estimated £3.7 million in fuel bills.

A slice of the revenue generated from each energy switch goes into a fund addressing fuel poverty.

The switching scheme also identifies energy deals which come from a more sustainable source. Cornwall Together will first negotiate for cheaper gas and electricity. It will then negotiate for heating oil, to accommodate the significant number of people in Cornwall’s rural areas who aren’t on the mains gas grid.

How Cornwall Together works

  1. Cornwall Together negotiates on behalf of all those that have registered to get best value tariffs. As well as identifying best value deals, wherever possible a green energy option will be offered.
  2. Residents register their interest with the scheme to find a cheaper energy tariff, providing details of their current fuel bills. Residents are welcome to join from across the UK.
  3. For each energy switch, 10% of the total money saved will be put back into a fuel poverty fund which will benefit the whole county. Cornwall Together will then seek match-funding from other organisations.

Who’s behind the collective buying scheme

Conceived by the Eden Project, Cornwall Together was originally pioneered by Cornwall Council, the NHS, Community Energy Plus and Community Buying UnLtd. They have been joined by delivery partners energyshare – the community renewable energy platform – and uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.

St Austell Brewery and Unison are also supporting the scheme, promoting it to their staff and also helping Cornwall Together reach vulnerable members of the community. Once the concept is proven, the initiative will be launched in other counties as part of a national UKTogether campaign.

Fuel facts

  • Together, Cornish households spend around £1.2 billion on energy each year.
  • Since 2004 the average household energy bill has rocketed by 140% a year (from £522 to £1,254).
  • Eight out of ten people say that the rising cost of energy bills has had an impact on their disposable income.
  • 25% of Cornish households are in fuel poverty, according to the NHS. 
  • Infants living in fuel-poor homes have a 30% greater risk of admission to hospital, according to Save the Children.
  • Winter cold weather costs the nation more than £850 million a year in additional primary, secondary and acute care provision.
  • There is a difference of nearly £300 in the annual fuel bill issued by the most expensive and the cheapest energy supplier on the UK market.
  • 41% of people say they have never switched energy supplier.

How to join us

The next switching opportunity has now closed, but you can register your interest to take part at a future date by visiting www.cornwalltogether.com. It's not necessary to be a Cornish resident to join.

Logo of Cornwall Together

Video

Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change Ed Davey launches Cornwall Together

Ed Davey launches Cornwall Together

Find out why he's excited about the initiative.

http://www.youtube.com/watch