SDCE Energy Advice Team are delighted to have helped 100 people already, since launching our advice service only a few weeks ago. We have been out and about across the South Hams at community events and drop in advice sessions, helping residents to understand their fuel bills and check they’re on the best energy deal.
We reached the milestone of having spoken to 100 people on Wednesday 9th November, whilst visiting Grosvenor Court in Ivybridge. Mrs Presland, who was attending the weekly coffee morning, was identified as the 100th customer and presented with a box of yummy chocolates to mark the occasion.
Katie Reville commented: “We are finding that lots of people are very loyal to their fuel suppliers but if they’re brave enough to shop around they could save £200-300 a year. We have already helped many households through the switching process and on average they will save £150 per year.
Many of us are used to shopping around for our car and home insurance, even if we just call our current company to check they’re giving us the best rate. We need to get into the habit of doing this for our energy too. There are now 46 energy suppliers in the UK so it is highly competitive and switching can be done on the internet, over the phone and even by post. All our energy comes from the same places and through the same pipes and wires so it seems silly to pay more for it, just to have a certain logo on your bill.”
Who will be our 200th client??? Pop along to one of our drop in sessions and it could be you!
On Saturday 15th October we held our first advice stand at the Ivybridge Flu Jab Clinic. Over 800 people were booked in for a very well organised clinic.
We know that across the UK, the Big 6 energy suppliers have 90% of customers, so we thought we'd do our own poll. And not deviating from the national trend, 84% of people were with the Big 6, overwhelmingly British Gas. Some people had switched in the last year and were on a good tariff, it was great to hear from people who take regular meter readings and switch each year, to make sure they get the best deal.
However a large number of people had not switched for years, and we were able to talk about how simple it is now to switch and let them know they could save up to £300 a year. You don't even have to switch supplier, at least just check if there is a cheaper tariff with the same supplier.
We're looking forward to the next event, Katie will be at the PL:21 Sustainable Energy Fair on Saturday 22nd. Please click here for a full list of all of our upcoming drop-in sessions.
On 23rd September Sophie was delighted to talk to the Ivybridge Wise and Wonderful group at Ivybridge Methodist Church, as part of the Big Energy Saving Network.
What a great turn out!
About 25 people came along to hear about how to switch fuel supplier, the Priority Service Register, Warm Home Discount and a little bit about smart meters. The group then came up with some excellent tips on how to save energy at home, which you can find here.
Then, over a cup of tea and a biscuit, Sophie and Katie were able to talk to people individually and look at their fuel bills. In some cases people could make a saving of up to £200!
Over the next six months we'll be doing more talks and drop in sessions around the South Hams, please get in touch if you'd like us to come and talk to you.
freephone 0800 112 3044
Katie and Sophie have both worked in the energy efficiency sector sector for many years and aim to deliver lots of outreach events and one to one support to residents across the South Hams. All the advice is free and impartial and can include home visits if necessary. Help is focussed on supporting people who have not switched suppliers before, who lack internet access, who have health issues or low incomes and will include practical support to help people reduce their bills. This can include advice on choosing the best energy tariff, help with switching supplier, information about smart meters and details of energy efficiency offers.
Katie and Sophie are looking for local community groups and events to attend over the next 6 months so that they can help as many people as possible. Would you like the team to attend your group, luncheon club or coffee morning to provide a talk or one to one advice session?
Would you like some free and impartial advice on reducing your fuel bills and getting the best from your energy supplier?
Does your team visit people at home who could benefit from the support available?
To book a talk, visit or to seek advice from your local Energy Champions please call 0800 112 3044 or e-mail email@example.com, Monday-Friday 9-5.
A programme of drop in advice sessions is being organised across the South Hams and further details will be available shortly.
We are delighted to welcome two new Directors to the board at SDCE, Jon Sparkes and Sonya Bedford, who bring a wealth of knowledge and experience to SDCE.
Jon is a chartered accountant and chartered tax advisor, he will be an invaluable member of the team. He is Tax Director at Bishop Fleming, and has lived in Ivybridge for many years.
Sonya is a specialist renewables lawyer, passionate about sustainable energy. Sonya leads the renewables team at Stephens Scown.
See more about Jon and Sonya on our Directors page.
Katie, Peter and Sophie joined other community energy companies at the new Transition Tavistock Local Matters space for an interesting meeting today. Its great hearing about other groups and what projects they are working on. Jodie and Tamar from Regen had some good insights into the impacts of Brexit for community energy and local supply options. The key message was 'keep going', we need decentralised low carbon energy supplies and sustainable communities more than ever.
More info on the SWDCEP here.
We are very pleased to announce that on the 8th June, South Dartmoor Community Energy was officially registered under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014.
We are very grateful for the support from Jodie Giles and Olly Frankland at RegenSW, and Jake Burnyeat and Rosie Gillam at Communities for Renewables for their support in getting us this far.
There is no bigger challenge currently for householders than trying to reduce their energy bills. The ‘big six’ continue to monopolize the market, and with resource scarcity, threats of global warming and ever increasing costs of electricity, it makes sense that people want to take control themselves. And community energy is one answer.
Community energy has provided an opportunity for local people to access the value of their local renewable energy sources. Across the south west we are seeing people coming together with their neighbours to take action on their energy bills. Research from Regen SW indicates that the south west spends almost £3 billion on electricity each year. Valuable tax payer’s money is leaving the local economy but community-owned schemes provide an option to keep the profits generated from energy within the community.
Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN) is a leading example of a local community taking action to cut their energy bills and get cheaper electricity. A new “Sunshine Tariff Trial” is in place where households in the Wadebridge area will pay as little as 5 pence per kilowatt hour – about a third of the price charged by most utility companies. Wadebridge found it was spending approximately £10 million on energy, and the Sunshine Tariff plans to reduce that cost and retain money within the local economy. This money can then be invested to improve local facilities.
At the heart of these new approaches is a better understanding of the value of power and how to maximise it. With the government’s recent measures to cut subsidies, many people are wondering if renewable energy is still viable. In fact the market has reacted to subsidy changes by developing new approaches and business models that mean there are still opportunities.
Communities and households looking to find out more about these opportunities and how to reduce their energy bill in a charging market should come along to Smart Energy Marketplace at Sandy Park on 17 March. We want as many people along as possible so we are offering members of community energy group’s significant discounts to attend the event. Find out more here www.smartenergymarketplace.co.uk or contact Charlotte: 01392 494399 or firstname.lastname@example.org