Stretton Climate Care, a green community group based in Church Stretton that offers advice on how to compare and switch energy tariffs, has said a new partnership between Shropshire Council and energy supplier SSE is “not good value” and it will not be advising people take up the offer.
But Shropshire Council has said the partnership is “great news” which offers residents a discount rate from a trusted supplier – and will raise thousands to help keep the county’s museums and other cultural assets running.
SSE has insisted it does offer a competitive price for the services offered.
Jamie Wrench, vice chair of Stretton Climate Care said the group, which offers advice at Church Stretton’s Health and Wellbeing Centre every Thursday morning, had compared the new Shropshire Community Energy tariff with those offered by other suppliers and, based on medium typical use, the tariff would cost Shropshire consumers £168 a year more than a comparable tariff offered through a comparison website.
He said: “I am sorry to say that we do not regard this offer as value for money and we could not recommend it to our clients.
“We are surprised that Shropshire Council has not been able to offer Shropshire consumers a greater saving on their energy bills.”
But Tim Smith, head of business, enterprise and commercial services at Shropshire Council, said:
“This partnership is great news for Shropshire residents.
“The deal put forward by SSE offers a discounted rate to residents from a well-known and established brand, and will generate valuable income for the council that can be put into the services that people value most.
“Through this partnership with SSE we will receive a fee for each referral to them that results in a contract take up. We hope to raise tens of thousands of pounds over the next year. This money will be used to support our museums and cultural assets – which were previously noted as at risk due to cuts in funding.
“If we raise more than amount required for our cultural assets we’ll be really pleased with the support that Shropshire’s residents have shown – and we’ll then work with the people of Shropshire to identify what the additional money should be spent on.
“This partnership with SSE will also enable us to provide people with valuable help and advice about how they can save money through a range of energy-saving measures.”
Edward Shone, speaking for SSE, added: “Energy suppliers compete for customers on both price and service. The partnership between SSE and the Shropshire Council offers customers a competitive price as well as excellent customer service and access to exclusive offers like boiler rescue.
“By signing up for a tariff with SSE, customers know they are getting more for their money and not just a standard service.”