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Cheaper Energy Bills Promised for Cornwall

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7:46am 23rd July 2012
(Updated 7:46am 23rd July 2012)

A groundbreaking scheme could mean Cornish families saving hundreds of pounds on their energy bills.

Pirate FM has learnt a new initiative will mean households and businesses clubbing together to drive down costs.

It is estimated Cornwall Together could save around £3.7m. It is thought to be the first time that such a wide area has come together to buy energy in bulk and therefore more cheaply.

Around 20,000 people are expected to sign up at its website for promised savings of between 10% and 15%. There will also be an option to pick more environmentally sustainable energy.

It is being backed by organisations including the Eden Project, Cornwall Council and the NHS.

Kelly from Camborne is a mum of two. She said: "It has changed a lot in the last couple of years. It's gone a lot higher even though I haven't had the fire on a lot. If we're cold of an evening we'll use blankets instead of putting the fire on. I feel that's made a difference."
 
Cornwall Together will negotiate for cheaper gas, electricity and heating oil. Matt Hastings from the Eden Project came up with the idea. He said: "It is the first time an entire county has clubbed together to join forces to negotiate a better deal for every single household in the country.
 
"What we're trying to help create is a really competitive energy market. That might mean we can give one of the independent suppliers another 10,000 customers. Or, if we're really succesful and we get 20,000, 30,000, 40,000 customers then we're going to have to talk to one of the large energy companies as well."
 
Steve Ford from Cornwall Council said: "Around 30% of households in Cornwall are suffering from fuel poverty and you are actually in a situation where people are making quite fundametal decisions about whether they are warm or whether they can purchase other essential commodities.
 
"It is power in numbers. But the beauty of Cornwall, because we have such a strong sense of community, I think this is an idea that could really catch on. If we could mobilise Cornwall and really get those numbers up then it gives us a lot of strength to our arm."
 
See a video explaining the scheme below...

7:46am 23rd July 2012

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