THOUSANDS of people are set to save money on their energy bills after the relaunch of an innovative scheme which was first pioneered by South Lakeland District Council.

The second 'Power Up Your Community' has attracted record interest, with 160,000 households from around 100 local authorities across the UK now involved.

It allows residents to log their energy usage before energy providers bid for their custom in an auction.

Three firms have been successful and participants will soon be contacted with details of their offer, with households expected to save up to £131 a year.

Different packages were available, including dual fuel, electric only, pre-paid meters and online.

SLDC’s assistant director for policy and performance, Simon McVey, said: “Emails or letters are currently being sent out to all the households in South Lakeland who were part of this auction.

“These will contain a personalised estimate based on the usage figures supplied and the householder will have until May 8 to decide whether to sign up to the new supplier.

“By far the largest category is gas and electricity monthly direct debit and it is estimated that 75 per cent of households in this category could see an average saving of £131 per year.

“The other benefit to the council’s scheme is that depending on the amount of people who accept the offer and switch, SLDC will receive a one off payment that will contribute directly to help community projects that improve energy efficiency for those most in need.”

SLDC was the first local authority in the UK to launch a community energy switching scheme.

It proved so successful that it relaunched it for a second time earlier this year with 2,489 people registering.

Residents will have another chance to join in six months, when the council runs the scheme again.

To find out more visit, telephone 0845 050 4434, or visit SLDC offices in Kendal, Ulverston or Windermere.