Tackling fuel poverty in Greater Manchester: Energy prices slashed as Rochdale homes adopt bulk buying

By Ben Ireland

Tackling fuel poverty is at the forefront of some Greater Manchester council’s new year resolutions.

And one ‘bulk buying’ scheme from Rochdale council is set to save residents £150,000 in 2013.

As of Wednesday, more than 900 households have signed up, and each registered household is set to save an average of £171.

Councillor Terry Linden, Rochdale’s cabinet member for housing, said: “This is a fantastic outcome which demonstrates the power of working co-operatively to get real results for local residents.

“The potential savings are substantial and will make a big difference to household budgets in tough times.”

The scheme works by households joining forces, and offering energy suppliers the chance to bid in a ‘reverse auction’ to see who can offer the best deal.

Another auction will take place in January as part of the ‘power to the people’ campaign, and will be implemented across the ten Greater Manchester boroughs.

The news comes following a survey by, which highlighted ludicrously high gas and electric bills as the country’s second biggest financial worry.

With over 13,000 voters, the poll’s number one issue was high petrol prices, closely followed by expensive gas and electricity bills.

On energy bills, Martin Lewis, creator of, said: “Recent continued rises are leading to more people in fuel poverty than ever before – many choosing between heating and eating.

“The public perception is that so far, politicians and regulators have failed to get a grip on it. It will be interesting to see if the proposed energy bill can make a difference.”

The latest figures from the Department of Energy and Climate Change showed that 20% of North West homes were in fuel poverty.

Locally, Rochdale home owners have also been offered free cavity wall insulation in the lead-up to winter as part of the ‘Get Toasty’ campaign.

Photo by Lee Haywood, with thanks.

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