Camden County announced yesterday that it would save $300,000 in energy costs over two years, thanks to a new way to bid for electric service.

Camden County leads the South Jersey Power Cooperative, which includes Gloucester County, Camden County College, Gloucester County College, the Borough of Collingswood, and other public accounts.

The cooperative last week conducted a "reverse auction" online to get the best rate from competing power companies. The projected total savings for the parties is $1.5 million over two years, according to Camden County officials.

"Each bidder was able to view the current lowest rate and decide on the spot whether to submit a lower number," Camden County Freeholder Edward T. McDonnell said in a statement. "The idea is to drive down bids and save taxpayers' money by letting bidders see what the competition is offering." - Matt Katz