Partnership leads to energy savings for North East residents
Published by Kelly Elliott for Cestria Community Housing in Housing and also in Communities
Front: Energy Angels director Lewis Taylor and Cestria financial inclusion officer Suzanne Jobson, with staff from Cestria Community Housing
Residents in County Durham are saving hundreds of pounds on their utility bills, thanks to a new partnership between a local housing association and an energy advice organisation.
Cestria Community Housing, in Chester-le-Street, has teamed up with Energy Angels to help local people switch to cheaper tariffs and offer advice about saving energy in their homes.
The partnership is the first of its kind in the North East and Cestria has held a number of events across the district as part of an Energy Awareness Month to tell people about the new service.
Many of those attending have already discovered they can save hundreds every year on their energy bills – amongst them Mr Robertson of Chester-le-Street.
He attended an event at the town’s Bullion Hall to seek advice after his utility bills increased from £79 a month to £126 a month in a short space of time.
It was discovered that, despite having signed up to a discounted tariff with his current supplier, this had never been applied.
With the help of Energy Angels, Mr Robertson completed a price comparison and discovered he could save £200 a year by switching to an alternative fixed price tariff, in addition to claiming back the money he had overpaid on his existing contract.
The 67-year-old said: “Often it is difficult to know if you are getting the best deal when it comes to gas and electricity, but the Energy Angels service was very simple.
“They helped me work out why I was paying so much and with their help I will be able to save hundreds of pounds every year.
“I think it’s brilliant that Cestria has teamed up with Energy Angels to offer this advice and I’m sure lots of other people will be able to benefit like I have.”
As well as offering the price comparison and switching service, Energy Angels will also work with all of Cestria’s new tenants, to ensure they are getting the best tariff available.
In addition, they will handle Cestria’s void property service – notifying utility suppliers when tenants move out, ensuring damages and debts are dealt with and making sure metres are cleared ready for new tenants moving in – with all these services provided free of charge.
Energy Angels director Lewis Taylor said: “Teaming up with Cestria allows us to work with their thousands of tenants to help them find the best deal and save money on their utility bills.
“This is our first partnership in the North East and already we are seeing great results, with tenants such as Mr Robertson saving substantial amounts of money.”
Cestria’s financial inclusion officer Suzanne Jobson said: “We know that times are hard at the moment and we are always looking for new initiatives to help our tenants save money.
“Our partnership with Energy Angels will ensure our tenants are getting the best deal on their utility bills, as well as offering general advice about saving energy, and therefore money.
“The good news is that the service is available to everyone, not just Cestria’s tenants, so this partnership will benefit the whole community.”
The service can be accessed by visiting the Cestria Community Housing website at www.cestria.org and clicking on the Energy Angels tab. A dedicated telephone number (0191 303 7191) has also been set up for anyone wishing to switch over the telephone.
Cestria tenants will receive a £15 Love2shop voucher for switching duel fuel energy suppliers online and a £10 voucher for switching over the telephone.
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