Business owners across the area are signing up to a new initiative to cut their gas and electricity bills through collective bargaining with the suppliers.
The Black Country Business Energy Scheme is free to join and is being backed by Henry Carver, of Carver's Building Supplies in Wolverhampton, and by city MPs Paul Uppal and Emma Reynolds.
It has been launched by Chris Jones, managing director of Wolverhampton-based Compare Energy Bills, who works with companies across the region to find the cheapest gas and electricity suppliers.
Although households are restricted to the big six energy companies, including British Gas and Eon, companies also have access to dozens more who just supply businesses.
Mr Jones set up the energy scheme after becoming frustrated at the inconsistent prices offered to his clients. The business energy scheme brings together Black Country-based companies of all sizes – from small manufacturing outfits and fish & chip shops to pub chains – to achieve significant financial savings through cheaper energy prices secured thorugh collecting purchasing. By coming together, their joint purchasing power allows them to secure betters deals.
Companies already working with Compare Energy Bills include Carvers, Burke Brothers, Capital Appliance Centre, Claremont Care, Murrays Chemists and Free Radio.
The rising cost of gas and electricity is a growing concern to businesses both large and small, said Mr Jones. ""Local businesses have the opportunity to operate their fuel costs in a much smarter way through joined up thinking and the Black Country Business Energy Scheme facilitates this."
Both Paul Uppal, Conservative MP for Wolverhampton South West, and Emma Reynolds, Labour MP for Wolverhampton North East, are backing the scheme.
Henry Carver said: "Business energy costs have increased by over 40% since 2010 and if this trend were to continue the viability of many Black Country businesses, particularly in the manufacturing sector, would be at risk.
"We have worked with Compare Energy Bills for some time and full endorse their collective purchasing scheme to drive down costs for the local business community."
Sham Sharma, chairman of the Wolverhampton Business Forum, added: "I welcome the fact that CEB, a Wolverhampton based company, is helping other local businesses to reduce their costs."
Firms wanting to find out more about the scheme can call 0800 2300086 or register interest in the Black Country Business Energy Scheme by filling in the website form at: www.compareenergybills.com