Co-operate and cut your power bills (1997)

This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
Oct, 1997
(Source: Co-op Dialogue, Vol.7, No.2, May-Aug. 1997, pp. 26)

Co-operate and cut your power bills
by Graham Monday
Around the world, growing numbers of communities are buying,
generating and distributing their own energy.  A move which is
cutting power bills and increasing energy efficiency for consumers.

They are forming cooperatives for bulk-buying muscle and improved
energy efficiency as an attractive alternative to traditional forms of
energy supplies.

The Australians are eager to jump on the energy bandwagon.
Co-operatives in New South Wales and across the country may
benefit from sweeping changes to the energy sector - resulting in
cheaper electricity bills and increased efficiency.

Co-opertive Energy Ltd is providing services and facilities to enhance
the viability of such co-op in Victoria and promoting the option
for electricity consumers.

Energy Cooperatives in Australia
The bulk-buying of energy supplies can deliver significant benefits 
both business and the community, according to a Consumer Energy
Cooperatives report, commissioned by the NSW Department of
Fair Trading.

The report points out that energy cooperatives with their bulk-
purchasing power, could:

1.	negotiate with energy suppliers for a better deal.

2.	manage energy loads to allow purchase of electricity at
	cheaper times.

3.	advise members of the economic advantages of other fuel type.

Chief Policy Officer, Cooperatives Policy Branch, Department of Fair
Trading, Government of New South Wales, Australia