Date: 
Wednesday, November 7, 2012 - 13:00

CornwallTogether, the UK’s first countywide collective purchasing initiative, has announced that E.ON, Ovo Energy and British Gas have won the race to provide its nearly 10,000 members with cheaper gas and electricity options.
 
The first round of Cornwall Together closed at midnight on October 28. Almost 10,000 Cornish households signed up to the scheme and four of the major energy companies – British Gas, EDF Energy, E.ON and nPower - along with sustainable energy suppliers, Good Energy and Ovo, made formal bids for these potential new customers.
 
Matt Hastings, project manager of Cornwall Together, said: “This is a very exciting time for Cornwall Together. The offers are going out to people now so it’s too early to give exact figures but our early estimates suggest that nearly 90 percent of dual fuel customers could save an average of nearly £150.
 
“We are hearing of some really significant savings. One family of five living in a four-bedroom house in Lostwithiel have been able to save nearly £450 through Cornwall Together.”
 
Matt added: “It’s crucial people open the email or letter and consider making the switch. It sounds obvious, but if you don’t switch, you don’t save. Switching is very easy and pretty seamless.”
 
CornwallTogether members should receive an email in the next few days making the formal offer and must take it up before November 25th to secure their deal.
 
To ensure that the scheme is fully-inclusive, the companies were asked to bid across six categories, including one for cash and cheque customers and for those on prepayment meters.
 
The winners in each category were:
Prepayment meters – British Gas
Cash and cheque – E.ON
Dual fuel monthly direct debit – E.ON
Electricity only monthly direct debit – E.ON
Green dual fuel monthly direct debit – Ovo Energy
Green electricity only monthly direct debit - Ovo Energy
 
Lucy Darch, Director of Energy at uSwitch.com, who led purchasing negotiations, said: “We’re delighted at the level of engagement from energy companies. Two of the bidding suppliers, npower and Good Energy, created added value offers for Cornwall Together, but were pipped to the post by the winners. The priority now is to explain the options and savings to local householders and to support them through the actual switch.
 
"We're pleased that British Gas additionally added a Free Home Energy Assessment and a £50 donation to the Cornwall Together Fund for every dual fuel switch (£10 for single fuel switch) to their package.  Cornwall Together will be providing the donation directly back to the prepayment customers and we really hope that the Free Home Energy Assessment will lead to additional savings on the bill for the prepayment customers who signed up to Cornwall Together".
 
Tony Cocker, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “We’re delighted that E.ON has been awarded winning bids in the Cornwall Together collective switching scheme. This is all about listening to customers and working together, helping to find the best deal for them, whether that’s individually or as part of a collective initiative, while also providing practical help and advice on how they can save energy.”
 
Stephen Fitzpatrick, managing director and founder of Ovo Energy, said: “We’re delighted that our Green Energy tariff, available for everyone, is the cheapest renewable product in the auction. We believe that a greener lifestyle should be affordable for everyone, and are looking forward to welcoming the residents of Cornwall to the Ovo family.”
 
Ian Peters, Managing Director of Residential Energy at British Gas, said: "We're delighted to have won this Cornwall Together auction for customers on prepayment meters.  We were able to win the auction using one of our existing tariffs which is a great endorsement of the competitive pricing we offer our prepayment customers. Cornwall is an important customer area for us and we hope to help as many households as possible to manage their energy costs."
 
Conceived by the Eden Project, Cornwall Together was originally pioneered by Cornwall Council, the NHS and Community Energy Plus, aiming to bring people together to reduce fuel poverty, encourage sustainability and community resilience. They have been joined by delivery partners, community renewable energy platform, energyshare, and uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service.                                                   

To reach the whole community and to make accessing the benefits as easy as possible it will be supported by some of Cornwall’s leading organisations and employers, Cornwall Council, the NHS, St. Austell Brewery, Unison, Locality, CAB Cornwall, Age UK Cornwall and Isles of Scilly, Warrens Bakery, Cornwall Housing, Ocean Housing, Volunteer Cornwall, Landlords Associations and Community Energy Plus who will be promoting it to their staff and members.

For more information go to: www.cornwalltogether.com.