Co-operate and cut your power bills (1997)

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This document has been made available in electronic format
by the International Co-operative Alliance (ICA)
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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
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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
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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.

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