Electricity bills could fall by 20%

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Consumers could soon be saving 20 per cent on electricity and gas bills if new legislation is passed which would see the creation of energy co-operatives.

According to climate change secretary Ed Miliband, the labour government would back the proposals, which were put forward by the Co-operative party in Edinburgh.

Under the new scheme, residents would join schools, community groups and businesses to form energy co-ops.

These groups would then negotiate the cost of wholesale electricity and gas at between ten and 20 per cent below standard domestic prices.

According to the Co-operative party, the new organisations would also install smart meters in members' homes in the hope of cutting carbon emissions as well as costs.

Michael Stephenson, the general secretary of the Co-operative party, said: "The virtue of this scheme is that it says you can be environmentally sensitive, but save money.

"The key to reconciling those two objectives is you take a co-operative approach."

In July, Mr Miliband said he would give energy regulator Ofgem more powers to control the cost of consumers' energy bills.

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