A COUNTY-WIDE bulk buying scheme could be set up in a bid to drive down rising energy prices.

Council leaders hope they can secure a cheaper deal for domestic electricity and gas customers if enough sign up with energy firms.

A Cherwell District Council report says the council should “support and promote” the scheme possibly using firm iChoosr as an intermediary.

It says: “There is likely to be a positive impact economically for those residents who sign up to the scheme and receive a more competitive, lower price for their energy.”

The Government announced £5m in funding for such “collective energy” schemes in September in a bid to tackle fuel poverty.

More than 1,600 people have joined a pilot scheme being run by South Lakeland District Council in Cumbria.

Lead council member for clean and green Nigel Morris said: “Even if we got ten per cent of Cherwell homes signed up, that would be 5,000 or 6,000, so it would be a beneficial bargaining tool.

“Fuel poverty is something that is very much in the forefront of people’s minds.”