Ros Jones was joined by Don Valley MP and Shadow Energy & Climate Change Secretary Caroline Flint this week for a Q&A with members of the public on energy policy.
An audience of around 40 people asked a wide range of questions, including ways to bring down gas and electricity bills for Doncaster households, the role of renewable energy, and calls for more insulation to be installed in Doncaster homes.
Ros laid out her plans for a properly implemented "U-Switch" scheme which would encourage all households – both those in St Leger Homes accommodation and private homeowners and tenants - across the borough to sign up in order to use their collective buying power to negotiate a cheaper tariff with the energy companies.
Ros said: "We saw a half-hearted attempt at bringing something like this in recently but not nearly enough was done to promote it or drive it forward. Leaflets aren't enough on their own - it needs a strong figurehead at the top determined to make it work.
"Gas and electricity bills are extortionate and I don't think it's right that Doncaster people get exploited so easily by the huge energy companies. But if we come together and collectively demand a cheaper tariff, we can make a real difference. Similar schemes in the USA and in other local authorities in the UK have saved people hundreds of pounds.
"It can work, it justs needs proper leadership to make sure it does - that's what I'm promising to provide."
Caroline said: “I’m pleased Ros is giving such high priority to bringing down Doncaster people’s energy bills. With the cost of living becoming more and more of a burden to families and pensioners across the borough we need to be doing more to help them taking on the energy giants.
“I’m backing Ros’ plan for a properly implemented You-Switch scheme, giving every household in Doncaster the opportunity to sign up and use their collective buying power to negotiate a cheaper deal from the energy companies.
“It’s an idea that could make a huge difference but it needs a strong leader to proactively make it happen – Ros is the only candidate in the mayoral election who has that ability and drive.”
The event was chaired by John Giddins, Chair of Doncaster Central Development Trust.