DRIFFIELD people will get the chance to benefit from cheaper gas and electricity bills, thanks to a scheme which is to be launched in the next few weeks by the East Riding of Yorkshire Council.
Energy firms were widely criticised at the weekend for hiking prices as Britain shivered under a blanket of snow.
E.ON became the latest company to energy bills and the average dual-fuel bill for its four million customers will go up to £1,370 - an increase of about £110 a year.
ERYC is concerned that many people in the county - especially the elderly and vulnerable - are still paying too much for their energy.
So, under a Cheaper Energy Together scheme, the council plans to negotiate for competitive prices with a rafts of energy companies on behalf of everyone who wants to take part.
An auction will then take place between the energy suppliers - and the one that offers the best deal will offer people new contracts.
Driffield and Rural ward councillor Symon Fraser revealed the news to Driffield town council last week and urged its members to help promote the idea.
He said: “It is a joint group energy buying scheme that the East Riding is facilitating at the moment which could come on stream shortly.
He explained: “We are confident that this will enable residents across the whole of the East Riding to join in on the joint purchase of their energy.
“Instead of them having to log on and do it individually through the internet, they will be able to get it through one large scheme.
Coun Fraser added: “The idea is to get them a good price as the energy suppliers will bid against the total wattage which is needed by all those subscribers for a full year.
“So it should be something that is attractive to energy suppliers.
“Our initial target audience is the elderly and vulnerable who would would tend not to get involved in these schemes and continue doing what they have done for years.
“I would encourage people to register interest and find out what benefits it will have for them.”
The Council is currently in the process of hiring a technology partner who will handle the registration process which is expected to start towards the end of January.