Cheshire East council becomes the first since 1948 to offer power tariffs to local constituents. Local authorities are to offer gas and electricity to residents for the first time since the 1940s in an attempt to encourage more people to switch suppliers and cut bills. From tomorrow, Cheshire East council will offer a deal called Fairerpower to its 170,000 households. Many of them have never switched supplier, and so are paying up to £300 a year more than necessary. The energy will be supplied and administered by Ovo, which is a challenger to the big six suppliers, including British Gas and Scottish Power. The energy prices will be set by the council, however. The move is the latest government-backed initiative to encourage householders to switch. The big six suppliers service more than nine in ten households in Britain. Last week, Labour leader Ed Milliband announced plans to give the regulator, Ofgem, power to force suppliers to cut bills.