THOUSANDS of Huddersfield families could see their energy bills cut.
Kirklees Council has confirmed plans to offer a “collective switching” deal – which could cut bills by up to £200 a year in some households.
The average is said to be £115, or £2.20 per week.
Under the scheme, which will see Kirklees work with councils in Bradford, Leeds, Wakefield, Rochdale and York, households are “sold” to energy companies.
Because of the huge numbers of potential customers involved, the scheme is effectively bulk-buying and the councils can negotiate excellent tariffs.
A similar scheme is already being offered by Calderdale Council, where almost 13,000 people have expressed an interest. They are working with authorities in Greater Manchester.
Every household is eligible but the council hope to encourage communities on housing estates to get together. They particularly want to see large numbers from estates in Dalton, Fartown, Deighton and Bradley.
News of the deal was confirmed last night by Kirklees Council leader Mehboob Khan.
He is liaising with councillors on the other authorities and they plan to bid for the best possible deal in the spring.
The cut-off point for applications is likely to be the end of March.
Clr Khan said: “We need to get at least 87,000 households signed up across the region, which should not be too difficult.
“The offer for each household is to cut their energy bills by an average of £115, give them advice about saving energy and access to energy-saving products.
“It is based on a tried and tested model. The list of potential customers is put to all the biggest energy suppliers and we look for the best and simplest tariff deal.
“We will be completely open and honest with customers and, if the switch tariff is not a better deal, we will tell them and offer to help in another way.
“Another plus is that people can make their own payment arrangements, be it direct debit, online or by cash, whatever suits them”.
The council has been given £280,000 funding from the Government to kickstart the programme and now plans to work out the best arrangements for collating customer details.