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24 May 2012 | Adam Leach
The Department of Energy and Climate Change has called on businesses and consumers to explore the benefits of buying energy through purchasing ‘collectives’.
Yesterday, energy secretary Edward Davey published guidance for energy consumers and organisations wanting to launch their own collective purchasing schemes. “I want to help make collective purchasing become a permanent feature of the UK energy market,” he said.
Davey was speaking after a roundtable in Westminster, where representatives from E.On, Energy UK, Ofgem and the Department for Business, Innovation & Skills, gathered to discuss how to build momentum behind collective purchasing. At the event, Which? and Cornwall Together - a collective including Cornwall Council and the Eden Project - shared their experiences of establishing collectives.
Richard Bates, director of empowered consumers at Consumer Focus, indicated the UK needed to catch up with other countries that have already pursued collectives.
He said: “Other countries have already shown that collective switching can deliver significant consumer benefits, chiefly greater convenience and better value. There is real scope for similar schemes to developed in the UK and we hope many organisations will be interested in finding out how this innovative model can work in their area.”
Commenting on the announcement, Mark Alston, general manager of ENER-G Procurement, an energy purchasing specialist, said: “[Collective purchasing] enables businesses to combine forces to increase their buying power and to benefit from flexible purchasing options, irrespective of their individual budget.”
In April, The Royal Opera House, Royal Albert Hall and The National Theatre announced that they would be teaming up with consultancy Power Efficiency to establish a specialist energy buying collective for arts venues.