HOW do you fancy having your gas and electricity supplied by Wirral Council?

Well, unlikely as it may sound, the local authority is about to set itself up as an energy company to battle "fuel poverty" in the borough.

An announcement today from the town hall said the proposed council company will "aim to sell power to residents at a lower cost than other suppliers by passing on savings achieved from operating on a not-for-profit basis and maintaining low overheads."

Council leader Cllr Phil Davies said: “Fuel poverty is a growing issue throughout the UK with people finding it more and more difficult to properly heat their homes and afford the rising costs of gas and electricity.

“We will do everything in our power to support our residents to live safe, healthy and fulfilling lives.

“These proposals would see the council create a new energy company which would at no cost to the tax payer, put us in a position to sell gas and electricity to residents at a much lower rate.

“I am delighted we have been able to produce such an imaginative proposal to help every resident in our borough save money on their energy bills.”

The scheme will provide three options for the council to take.

They include acting as either a fully licensed energy operator, a "white label" provider or as a "license lite" operator.

Wirral says each option has already been launched successfully by other local authorities - Liverpool City Council is now operating as a white label energy provider and Nottingham City Council as a fully licensed operator.

"The proposals could potentially help residents who are currently less able to switch energy providers to do so more easily without the need to pay a switching fee," a Wirral spokesman said.

The proposals will be discussed by council cabinet next Monday.