Switch Hampshire is a collective energy-switching scheme that is being offered by councils across Hampshire including Rushmoor Borough Council. People sign up to register their interest in finding out the best deal available to them. After the registration period has closed, energy companies are invited to take part in a reverse auction. The companies bid against each other and the company that comes up with the lowest tariff wins the auction. The tariff is fixed for one year. After the auction, those who registered will be told how much money they could save if they switch to the winning tariff. If the customer decides to switch, the process of changing energy supplier will be managed by the Switch Hampshire scheme. Alternatively, the customer may decide to use the deal they have been offered to negotiate a better deal with their existing supplier. Councillor Peter Moyle, the Leader of Rushmoor Borough Council said: “Collective energy switching is really popular on the continent. In the same way that we shop around for car insurance, we should also be regularly checking that we are getting a good deal from our energy supplier. Signing up for Switch Hampshire does not commit residents to changing energy supplier, it simply enables people to see whether they are getting the best possible deal. “If somebody does decide to switch, the changeover is taken care of by the Switch Hampshire team. Some people are suspicious of schemes such as this because it sounds too good to be true. However, there is no catch and you remain in control.” During the last Switch Hampshire round, the average saving for those who switched was £90 per year. In one case, a resident saved around £750. With statistics showing that 67% of people have not switched energy supplier in the last three years, there are likely to be savings for many people. The deadline for registering an interest in the scheme is 17 February. To register, people can call 01962 846828 or visit www.hants.gov.uk/switch. The auction will take place on 18 February. Those who have registered will be told in early March how much they could save and will need to decide by the end of March whether they wish to switch supplier.