Date: 
Thursday, November 29, 2012 - 13:00

Following the successful first round of the collective energy purchasing initiative, Cornwall Together, the second round is to launch in the new year.

Over 1,700 people who narrowly missed out on being part of Cornwall Together Round 1 have already signed up to be part of the next round. Those who joined the first round, who haven't yet switched, will be able to be included in the next buying round automatically.
 
Cornwall Together's Project Manager, Matt Hastings, says: "Round 1 was a great learning experience. We tried buying as a group in a way that’s never been done before and in so doing support the people who are struggling most with high bills in relation to their income. Now we've built the model - and learnt some valuable lessons along the way - we are really keen to push ahead, improve our model and offer more savings for everyone."
 
Nearly 10,000 people had signed up to Cornwall Together Round 1 by the end of October to get a better deal on their energy bills. Around 80% of people who joined were able to access a cheaper deal on their gas and electricity - and the average saving on offer was £110. They were then given three weeks to make the decision whether to switch. Offers were taken up by one in four people who opened their offer emails - equating to over 1,100 people.
 
Delivery partners uSwitch were pleased with the result, but say there are a lot more savings to be had. “If everyone had switched, Cornwall Together could have saved Cornish households almost £990,000 in total. This shows that collective purchasing can work and we hope that by demonstrating this many more households may want to take part in future schemes," said Lucy Darch, Director of Energy at uSwitch.
 
“The response to the first round of Cornwall Together has been fantastic,” said Kevin Lavery, Chief Executive of Cornwall Council, who were a lead partner in Cornwall Together. “Almost 30 per cent of people living in Cornwall are technically in fuel poverty – Cornwall Together has shown that we can help residents get a better deal on energy.”
 
People who want to register interest for the next round of Cornwall Together can sign up at www.cornwalltogether.com .
 
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 was 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.
 
Ten per cent of the revenues from Cornwall Together will go into a Cornish fuel poverty fund, to help those struggling with energy affordability.