Northamptonshire County Council is to work with utilities company British Gas to see how they can both bring benefits to the county.
At a seminar held this week the two organisations signed a memorandum of understanding pledging to work collaboratively on a number of initiatives.
Both the council and British Gas realise that they share similar goals on issues such as fuel poverty, energy efficiency and the environment and can help each other tackle these by sharing expertise, ideas and resources to help achieve a low carbon Northamptonshire.
Creating this strategic alliance for business opportunities is one of the components of Northamptonshire County Council’s 10-point plan which was recently presented to government.
Cllr Jim Harker, Leader of the county council said: “With councils facing huge financial challenges we’re having to find innovative ways of working and think of new ways of delivering services which don’t place an undue burden on the taxpayer.
“I believe this is one of the first initiatives of its kind in the country and goes to show that in Northamptonshire we have a pioneering approach which brings widespread benefits.
“We recognise that we have many similar aspirations to British Gas so it makes perfect sense to explore how we can work together.”
Andrew Bacon, Director at British Gas, said: “At British Gas we support and endorse Northamptonshire’s recently published 10 point plan which seeks to tackle the wide-range of challenges that local residents and businesses face.
"These will bring real local economic benefits including new jobs and skills, but also will help to reduce fuel poverty and enable local communities take more control over their energy management and cost. We believe this plan needs key partners for successful delivery, by bringing the scale and delivery capability that British Gas offers, along with Northamptonshire’s pioneering ambition and drive, we look forward to what we can achieve together."