374-BigWightSwitch-reception-2 smallMore than 11,000 residents have signed up to the Big Wight Switch – a switching initiative to gain cheaper energy bills.


The number is eight times greater than that initially targeted and represents a staggering one in six of Island homes.

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It also gives the Big Wight Switch greater bargaining power when it begins to discuss potential deals with energy companies in the next two weeks.

The Big Wight Switch was launched last month by Community Acton Isle of Wight (CAIW) and the Isle of Wight Council using grant from the government’s Department of Energy and Climate Change.

Mike Bulpitt, CAIW chief executive, said he was extremely pleased with the take up from the community. “It’s a massive response and shows just how worried residents are both about the size of their energy bill and also the percentage of their disposal income that goes on paying it.

“The task now is to get the best possible deal we can for those who have registered.”

Mr Bulpitt said an initial analysis of those registering an interest showed a high proportion were residents over the age of 60. “These may well be people who would traditionally be wary about going online and switching so we are delighted to have been able to assist them,” he said.

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Under the Big Wight Switch, not only will negotiation for a tariff be undertaken on behalf of residents, assistance will also be given – by trained staff at the Energy helpline – to help participating residents make the switch.

Isle of Wight Council leader, Councillor David Pugh, said: “We were keen to support this initiative because we believed there were many residents who would be interested in switching but who would like assistance to help them do so.

“I too am delighted at this response and that we were able to play a part in a scheme that stands to make a real difference to so many households.”

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