THE ENERGY ACTION GROUP
Our Energy Buying Basket brings collective bargaining power for all members. The basket’s combined consumption attracts greater interest from suppliers and more competitive energy tariffs than individual members acting alone.
Once a year we run a group energy buying basket for those clients with contracts starting at the same time. The principle is simple but it relies on good buying relationships and well organised bulk tendering. Participation carries no additional cost and members are free to choose the offer that suits them best.
How the Energy Action Group was born:
Back in 2010 there were numerous complaints about price-gouging and other sharp practices by energy suppliers. Customers were continually ‘rolled-over’ onto high prices and customer complaints went unaddressed.
At that time, Touchstone Energy Management Services had a close and ongoing relationship with Development Trusts Association Wales (DTA Wales),a community-based organisation with over 100 members. Touchstone had been helping members obtain competitive energy prices and organised energy surveys to help reduce member’s energy consumption. Coping with shoddy service and bad practice from suppliers forced us to find ways of improving service levels. This meant operating from a position of strength, and what better way than form an Energy Buying Basket.
The EAG criteria are: value for money, account management, service levels and technological innovation.
Suppliers conforming to the above criteria engage in a competitive tendering exercise.
Members can choose from a range of contract lengths for both gas and electricity.
In 2011, Touchstone combined DTA Wales members’ and direct commercial client’s energy consumption into a single basket of 25 Gigawatts of gas and electricity. The results were very encouraging and led to the annual EAG Buying Basket becoming an annual exercise now in its 8thyear.
How did we do it?
The most important thing was to organise member’s contract end dates to finish on the same day. By co-terminating members contracts we provide energy suppliers with the volume of consumption that motivates them to offer enhanced pricing and improved service.
The EAG went from strength to strength. In 2012, Locality, the sister organisation to DTA Wales for England, with 700 members, joined the Basket, closely followed by DTA Scotland with a further 200 members.
Association of Independent Museums (AIM)
Independent Museums and Heritage Trusts form an important element of cultural life in the UK. By definition, important exhibits and high visitor numbers means high energy use, and the ability to obtain optimal tariffs and reduce energy consumption is a significant ongoing topic. With approximately 1,100 members, Aim is an important constituent of the EAG.
With the inclusion of AIM, the EAG now comprises a large volume of energy buying basket that is proving to be increasingly attractive to a wide range of suppliers.
With the deregulation of the commercial water market in England in 2017 the EAG is positioned to add water procurement services to all EAG members in 2018.
Amongst the current members are:
Association of Independent Museums – 940 Members.
AIM is a national charitable organisation which connects, supports and represents independent museums, galleries and other organisations.
DTAW – Development Trusts Association of Wales – 100 Members.
The Development Trusts Association Wales (DTA Wales) is an independent membership organisation promoting the work of and supporting the growing network of development trusts in Wales.
Locality – 700 Members and Associate Members.
A national network of inspiring, ambitious and dedicated community-led organisations and associate members
DTAS – Development Trusts Association of Scotland – 206 Members
Since 2003, membership of DTA Scotland has grown quickly and by the end of January 2014 stood at 206 full and provisional members, with 42 associate members.
UK SPA ASSOCIATION
The UK Spa Association (SPA-UK) supports and advances the spa industry and its employees, representing the entire sector with one voice.
TEN PIN BOWLING PROPRIETORS ASSOCIATION
The TBPA today includes all of the biggest operators of Ten Pin Bowling Centres and bowling equipment suppliers in the vibrant tenpin bowling industry