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Municipal energy: How local government can fight fuel poverty

Municipal energy: How local government can fight fuel poverty

Derby City Council launched a new energy brand called ‘RAM Energy’ on 6 October 2017. In the first 9 days of trading, over 100 households switched to RAM Energy. 

RAM Energy is aimed at the people of Derby and the Midlands to help people save money on their energy bills and offer low rates for all. Too many people are stuck on expensive tariffs; RAM Energy aims to make it easy to switch through a simple-to-use website or by calling the UK based call centre.

Two thirds of domestic energy customers don’t switch regularly, even though that means they are missing out on better deals. For anyone in that position, RAM Energy is likely to save them money. RAM Energy is a not-forprofit energy provider, there are no director bonuses or shareholders to pay, which means any profits generated will be used to keep prices down for everyone. RAM Energy is delivered through a partnership with Robin Hood Energy, a not-for-profit energy supplier.

RAM Energy ran a series of presentations to Council departments. Gill in the customer service team said, “I don’t think I’ve switched for a while.” We discovered that Gill was with one of the Big 6 energy suppliers and hadn’t switched for 11 years. Gill was delighted to discover that she made a saving of £170 by switching to RAM Energy. She said, “this is a great amount of money, especially for someone living alone like myself.” She continued to say, “I’m very happy with the saving I’ve made and switching was very easy too.”

RAM Energy was launched to meet one of 50 pledges made by the Council as part of its vision to make Derby a safe, strong and ambitious city.

The venture is launched with a special introductory tariff for single and dual fuel customers signing up to the RAM Energy fixed tariff. This tariff will be offered until the end of the year to enable people to save on their winter heating bills.

Peter from Alvaston was one of the first to switch. Being a regular switcher between the ‘Big Six’ energy suppliers, Peter wasn’t sure how much he could save. He was pleasantly surprised when he received his quote from RAM Energy to find that he could save a massive £220 by moving so he switched right away! Peter said, “I’d recommend looking into RAM Energy as it’s a local not-for-profit energy provider, especially for local people and may work out cheaper than the mainstream companies.”

Many householders have become disillusioned with the traditional big energy suppliers, with around one in six people in Derby now estimated to be living in fuel poverty. Council Leader Ranjit Banwait said, “RAM Energy is a local brand for the people of Derby and the Midlands offering affordable tariffs which offer value for money. It is not about making big profits or paying shareholders, as is the case with the big energy suppliers.” “This will make a meaningful contribution to the quality of life in our city.”

RAM Energy also aims to help prepayment (pay-as-you-go) customers, who have traditionally been poorly served by the energy market. Prepayment meter customers will have priority status for smart meter installations to give customers more freedom for topping up and control over their bills.

RAM Energy is keen to help prepayment customers move to becoming credit customers. This change would typically offer people a higher saving on their energy bills. For people who are not used to switching and are nervous about it, there is lots of help available. Getting a quote can take two minutes and customers are fully supported every step of the way when completing your switch to RAM Energy.

Energy bills depend on a customer’s energy-using habits, the size of their home and the number of people in it. All that is needed is a copy of a recent gas and electricity bill. If RAM Energy isn’t cheaper than a customers existing deal, then it will be made clear. RAM Energy is being backed by some of the biggest local employers, including Rolls-Royce, Bombardier and Toyota UK, who have all agreed to promote it to their staff.

 

If your council is intrested in setting up a municipal energy company, please contact Phil Brennan, Head of APSE Energy, on 0161 772 1810 or email pbrennan@apse.org.uk

 

 

Promoting excellence in public services

APSE (Association for Public Service Excellence) is a not for profit unincorporated association working with over 300 councils throughout the UK. Promoting excellence in public services, APSE is the foremost specialist in local authority frontline services, hosting a network for frontline service providers in areas such as waste and refuse collection, parks and environmental services, cemeteries and crematorium, environmental health, leisure, school meals, cleaning, housing and building maintenance.

           

 

          

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