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Sunday 31 August 2014

Campaigns plan to force energy prices down

Charlie Weston Personal Finance Editor

Published 17/02/2014 | 02:30

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Edwina and Wesley Roddy pictured with daughter Naoise (2) at the One Big Switch, ,a new Irish consumer network witch was launched today  in Temple bar Dublin. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins
Edwina and Wesley Roddy pictured with daughter Naoise (2) at the One Big Switch, ,a new Irish consumer network witch was launched today in Temple bar Dublin. Picture: Stephen Collins/Collins

TWO major campaigns are under way to encourage consumers to force gas and electricity companies to lower energy prices.

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One Big Switch is hoping to get 20,000 consumers to sign up to it, before it moves to negotiate massive group discounts.

And husband-and-wife team Maria and Barry Broderick have already got hundreds of families to sign up to their website ReduceMyBills.ie

One Big Switch, which is headed by entrepreneur Oliver Tattan, is hoping to get thousands of people signed up for free over the next month.

It hopes to use people's collective switching power to negotiate discounted electricity and gas offers. It then plans to make this discounted offer available to everyone who joins the campaign.

The company is using a business model pioneered in Australia.

DISCOUNTS

"By gathering the switching power of 20,000 consumers, I'm confident we can unlock group discounted electricity and gas offers. This could mean real savings for tens of thousands of Irish households, but we need Irish consumers to get behind the campaign," said Mr Tattan.

Consumers can register at onebigswitch.ie, and joining is cost – and obligation-free.

Mr Tattan said more than 100,000 Australian households had already used the power of One Big Switch collective switching campaigns to cut the cost of their energy bill. Meanwhile, the Brodericks' ReduceMyBills.ie got its inspiration from once-off campaign run by the UK consumer magazine 'Which?'.

That scheme organised 38,000 people into a group and managed to secure savings of around €250 per consumer.

Irish Independent

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