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1 April 2014 – Cheshire West and Chester Council is urging residents to join together and buy gas and electricity collectively in a bid to save money on energy bills.

The Council has joined forces with 11 councils across the UK to create a Collective Energy Scheme, where residents are able to combine their purchasing power and bulk-buy their energy as a group, enabling them to negotiate with providers for cheaper energy bills.

Known as collective switching, the scheme will make it easier for people to switch energy provider and participants can expect to see big savings of between £60 and £200 a year.

Executive Member for Prosperity, Councillor Herbert Manley, said: “Rising fuel bills and more and more people risking their health by living in cold, damp homes due to fuel poverty are major concerns of this authority.

“This scheme is set to be the biggest of its kind in the UK – with 12 councils involved in the project its means over 1.5 million households will be eligible to join the scheme and start saving money on their energy bills by combining their purchasing power.

“The more people that sign up, the bigger the potential savings so I would encourage all west Cheshire residents, regardless of the size of your property, to sign up today and help secure lower monthly bills.”

The sixth auction of this popular free scheme officially launches today (1st April) and registering is easy. All you need to do is visit readytoswitch  and provide your contact details, the name of your supplier and details of your current energy usage and tariff.

Registration for the scheme will stay open until Monday, June 9, 2014.

The collective switching scheme will work by means of a reverse auction on Tuesday, June 10  where energy suppliers will be invited to bid the lowest price to supply energy to all those signed up for the scheme.

Offers will then be sent out to participating residents who can then decide whether they want to switch to the new deal. There is no obligation to accept the offer.