Choice Housing regularly review our energy contracts to ensure we are getting the best possible rates, with charges and savings associated with landlord or communal energy at schemes often passed on to our customers through service charges and heating charges. Within our current Energy & Sustainable Development Strategy we have a target to save 5% on energy costs through our procurement arrangements and we are on course to meet this target in 2020/21.
We are pleased to be able to announce that we awarded new electricity contracts from November 2020, with our supply split between 4 suppliers – PowerNI, 3T Power, SSE Airtricity and Budget Energy. This relates to landlord or communal electricity across our housing stock along with our offices.
Our new electricity contracts run from November 2020 for one year and are expected to deliver a saving of almost 6% against market or average electricity prices, which equates to a saving of over £50,000 over a year, which is passed on to tenants at schemes where these electricity costs apply.
Earlier in 2020 we entered into a new two year natural gas contract with Flogas, with expected savings of close to 7% against market or average prices. This equates to a saving of almost £40,000 which will again be passed on to tenants at schemes where these natural gas charges apply.
Our housing schemes which use heating oil are able to avail of prices secured through a UK framework. This ensures that we are able to avail of competitive rates each week, through a transparent procurement process.
Preferred Supplier Agreement
We are also pleased to announce that a new contract is now in place with Budget Energy for the electricity supply to many of our new and remodelled homes, which also commenced in November 2020 for a two year period. Customers moving into these homes have the benefit of knowing they are on a low rate of electricity, but also have the freedom to switch suppliers if they wish to do so.
With an anticipated average of around 200 homes being signed up to this agreement each year, we estimate that there could be collective savings in the region of £10,000 per year for our tenants, based on the current regulated price of electricity in Northern Ireland.
This innovative scheme was one of the first of its kind in Northern Ireland and we are now entering the sixth year where Choice have taken this approach to deliver savings for our customers.