A new program for small and medium-sized businesses in Philadelphia is designed to bring them together for purchasing power — helping them save money on energy bills.

Oteri’s Italian Bakery, in the Olney section of the city, has been in business since 1904.  Owner Lisa Oteri (above) says both utility bills and the prices of ingredients are on the rise, and she doesn’t want to pass those costs on to customers if at all possible. So she is looking for ways to save money.

Now, with energy deregulation and an electricity bill of $4,000 to $5,000 a month, she joined Philly Buying Power.

“We should be saving around 300 or 400 dollars a month,” Oteri told KYW Newsradio. “And that’s a great savings for us, really.”

Philly Buying Power is sponsored by the city’s Commerce Department and run by Taylor Consulting, where Christopher Booth (below right) is the vice president for the Mid-Atlantic territory.

booth christopher side mcde Part 6:  Joining Together For Buying Strength“Philly Buying Power essentially groups small and medium-sized businesses together to create large buying pools to purchase electricity in the wholesale market,” Booth explains.  “It allows them to pool their resources together to get a better price than trying to go out on their own and negotiate with these energy suppliers all by themselves.”

Booth says about 500 businesses and nonprofits have signed up for the program so far.  And, he points out, it’s free.

“There is no sign-up fee to join Philly Buying Power. It’s just a very simple process of filling out the paperwork, providing us with copies of your bills, and just getting started in the program.”

For more information go to phillybuyingpower.com.

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Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.

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