Big Community Switch

Household registration for Darlington’s Big Community Switch has been extended! We have reopened registration following the auction, so you will be able to register and have the opportunity to benefit from the auction offers until midnight 28 June 2015 if you register online here or until 4pm, 22 June 2015 if you register offline with help from Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau. Business and community registration is open until 28 June 2015. Visit the Big Community Switch website to register [external link]


Save money on energy at home, at work, in your community through the Big Community Switch.

Darlington Borough Council has joined the Big Community Switch – a Collective Energy Switching scheme powered by iChoosr, which can help you save money on your gas and electricity bills.

Auction Results – 19 May 2015

With your help another very successful auction has taken place and we are pleased to announce the winners: British Gas, E.ON Energy and OVO Energy.

  • British Gas has won the Dual Fuel online billing and paper billing contracts.
  • E.ON Energy has won the Electricity Only online billing and paper billing contracts.
  • OVO Energy has won all the prepayment contracts.

Soon your personal offer will be sent out, with no obligation, and you can choose whether or not to accept the offer you receive.

If you have registered and haven’t received your offer by 9 June 2015 you are advised to do the following by 23 June 2015:

If you registered online:

  1. Check your e-mail spam folders
  2. Check the iChoosr Big Community Switch website for details- follow the links on this page
  3. After doing the above, please call the Big Community Switch helpline on 0800 048 8285 or e-mail them via the contact form on the iChoosr Big Community Switch website or at bigcommunityswitch@ichoosr.com

If you registered offline or with help from Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau: 

Please call the Big Community Switch helpline on 0800 048 8285 

(Big Community Switch helpline opening hours: Monday – Friday, 8am – 5.30pm)

For further help and personal 1 to 1 support, registrants can also contact Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau on 01325 256999 (ext,122)

The deadline to accept the offer is 30 June 2015.

Don’t worry if you missed the deadline for registering– household registration has been extended! We have reopened registration following the auction so you will still be able to be register and have the opportunity to benefit from the auction offers.

What is the Big Community Switch?

The Big Community Switch brings together a lot of people to buy energy. The more people that join up, the greater the purchasing power to get cheaper energy bills.

You can register for free with no obligation to switch.

An auction is organised and the energy supplier who offers the best tariff will be able to offer you a new contract. All national energy suppliers are eligible to take part in the auction.

After the auction you will receive a personal offer which will tell you how much you could save. You can then decide whether or not to accept the offer and switch energy suppliers. There is no charge, even if you decide not to accept the offer.

Can you join the Big Community Switch?

At home

  • Householders are eligible to join, including people living in rented accommodation. The energy bill must be in the name of you or your partner. You may need to check your tenancy agreement to see if your landlord needs to know if you switch supplier.
  • You can join if you have a prepayment meter.
  • If you have an energy debt of over 28 days, your energy supplier may stop you from switching, depending on what kind of meter you have. If you have a prepayment meter you can switch and transfer debts of up to £500 for gas and up to £500 for electricity. If you have over £500 debt on a prepayment meter or have any debt on another kind of meter, Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau can provide you with debt advice and support to help you to switch in the future. Please contact Mark Wiseman at Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau on 01325 256999 (ext. 122) for more information.
  • You do not need to be living in Darlington to be able to register

At work

  • It’s not just households that can switch to a better value energy tariff - businesses can do the same.
  • Businesses can register for free and with no obligation for help to get a better deal, with the scheme offering switching options to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs). The energy bill must be in the name of your organisation.
  • Your business does not need to be based in Darlington to be able to register
  • The process works a little differently, but if you’ve never switched your business gas or electricity then you could cut your bills by as much as 30% - and you can do so with our trusted energy- switching partner Make It Cheaper.
  • Their service makes it easy for local SMEs to get a better value deal for their energy. In one quick phone call a Make It Cheaper expert can compare prices from different suppliers, help you choose the right tariff and set up your contract. This means they’ll save your business time and hassle as well as reducing your costs and boosting your profits.
  • Make It Cheaper will also ensure you get a fair deal for your gas or electricity when your contract is up for renewal, making certain you avoid unnecessarily expensive rates in the future
  • Please note: The process of switching your business gas or electricity isn’t quite the same as switching your home energy, so this isn’t directly part of Darlington’s Big Community Switch
  • Why not promote the Big Community Switch to your employees so they could save money on energy at home too! We can help with promotion and talks to your employees - please contact Mark Wiseman at Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau on 01325 256999 (extension 122)

In your community

  • It’s not just households that can switch to a better value energy tariff – Voluntary and Community organisations can do the same
  • Voluntary and Community organisations can register for free and with no obligation for help to get a better deal. The energy bill must be in the name of your organisation. 
  • Your organisation does not need to be based in Darlington to be able to register.
  • Register using the switching options available to Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs)
  • The process works a little differently, but if you’ve never switched your organisation’s gas or electricity then you could cut your bills by as much as 30% - and you can do so with our trusted energy- switching partner Make It Cheaper.
  • Their service makes it easy for local organisations to get a better value deal for their energy. In one quick phone call a Make It Cheaper expert can compare prices from different suppliers, help you choose the right tariff and set up your contract. This means they’ll save your organisation time and hassle as well as reducing your costs
  • Make It Cheaper will also ensure you get a fair deal for your gas or electricity when your contract is up for renewal, making certain you avoid unnecessarily expensive rates in the future.
  • Make It Cheaper can also provide qualifying organisations with advice on claiming back VAT from energy suppliers [pdf document].
  • Please note: The process of switching your organisation’s gas or electricity isn’t quite the same as switching your home energy, so this isn’t directly part of Darlington’s Big Community Switch
  • Why not promote the Big Community Switch to your employees, volunteers and clients so they could save money on energy at home too!
  • We can help with promotion and talks to groups - please contact Mark Wiseman at Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau on 01325 256999 (extension 122)

Take Part in the Big Community Switch

At Home

Register on the Big Community Switch website [external link]. Please have a current bill in your name, or in your partner's name to hand.

You can also register at the following for further help and personal 1 to 1 support. Please bring a recent bill with you:

Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau, Bennet House, 14 Horsemarket, Darlington DL1 5PT 

(Open 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday, open until 6pm on Wednesdays, closed bank holidays 4 May and 25 May 2015)

01325 256999 (extension 122) admin.desk@darlingtoncab.co.uk

Registration for householders has been extended!  You are now able to register until midnight 28 June 2015 if you register online here or until 4pm, 22 June 2015 if you register offline with help from Darlington Citizens Advice Bureau. For more ways to save money on energy at home see our Home Energy page.

At Work

Register on the Big Community Switch website [external link] and click on the blue ‘Are you a business?’ banner to get registered. Please have a current bill in your organisation's name to hand.

Complete the call back form and someone will call you back

Or call free on 0800 088 6974

Businesses can contact Make It Cheaper up to and including 28 June 2015

In Your Community

Register on the Big Community Switch website [external link] and click on the blue ‘Are you a business?’ banner to get registered. Please have a current bill in your organisation's name to hand.

Complete the call back form and someone will call you back

Or call free on 0800 088 6974

Voluntary and Community organisations can contact Make It Cheaper up to and including 28 June 2015

Tell your friends, family, colleagues and neighbours. You can register up to five households at a time.

More people = more purchasing power = more £'s in your pocket!

During the first round of the Big Community Switch (which ended in December 2013), Darlington householders saved up to an average of £130.

During the second round of the Big Community Switch (which ended in March 2014), Darlington householders saved up to an average of £252.

During the third round of the Big Community Switch (which ended in July 2014), Darlington householders saved up to an average of £317.

During the fourth round of the Big Community Switch (which ended in March 2015), Darlington householders saved an average of £245.