Laura Campbell reports on her recent trip to the West Country...

I’ve just started to project manage our brand new collective switching project, Scots Together. Households across Scotland will get the chance to save hundreds of pounds on energy bills as part of a collective buying initiative starting on Monday 18 February 2013.

Residents across Scotland, including those in our local authority partner areas, City of Edinburgh, East Lothian, Midlothian, Fife and the Scottish Borders will have until Sunday 17 March to join in to secure a better deal from energy companies by buying energy together.

Changeworks is co-ordinating the initiative in Scotland.

As it’s something we’ve never attempted to do before at Changeworks we decided to partner up with UK Together (Energyshare, Eden project and uSwitch) who recently ran a similar project in Cornwall. They invited us down to the Eden Project for training – how could I refuse? 

The Eden Project is a really amazing space, with lots of people working on inspiring projects. They also have the most fantastic bakery! 

Eden was really cool. They’ve got so much going on there, it’s a great place for thinking about the impact that people have on the planet. Hopefully lots of visitors go away from there inspired to do something to benefit the environment.

It was such a long way to travel (9.5 hours on the train) that I decided to make the most of the trip and spend a bit more time working with our new project partners in Cornwall. The day after the training I returned to Eden to work from their office. The following day I headed over to Newquay to work with Energyshare. The words ‘ideas that might just change the world’ were written outside the office door.

Changing the world. It made me smile when I saw it. A lovely, inspirational and empowering message as you walk through the door to work… It’s a brilliant feeling. You kind of think ‘hey, I’m part of that’. It’s also quite cool to think that behind that door there are a whole bunch of people working away to achieve something great.

[A bit like Changeworks, really!]

Friday night was launch night for the new Keodigital office in Newquay (they work with Energyshare, Peoplefund.itLandshare and River Cottage). With partners from across their projects invited it was a great opportunity to get to make some new contacts. Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall was the star guest, accompanied by River Cottage chefs and the Hungry Boys. The chefs whipped up some lovely food as Hugh spoke to us of the importance of local community projects. I got a quick snap with Hugh to remember the occasion by. 

Scots Together will officially launch on Monday 18 February (today!). Staff from Changeworks will be at the Princes Mall Shopping Centre rooftop from 11:00am on Monday to show people how they can take part and save money on their energy bills. The official launch will take place from 1.30pm.

The more people that take part, the better the deal will become and there’s no obligation to switch.  People who join up at the start will still be able to benefit from the price achieved by the total number of people switching at the end.

Scots Together is currently the only Scottish pilot to be funded by the Department of Energy and Climate Change. A similar project was pioneered in Cornwall, which successfully signed up 10,000 people to negotiate cheaper gas, electricity and oil deals with energy companies. Visit www.scotstogether.com to take part!