A pilot to bring down energy bills in the North East has taken an important step forward.

North of Tyne Combined Authority and North American firm QSecGrid have signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU).

This breakthrough sets the stage to trial a community, virtual power plant in North of Tyne.

It lets residents store energy generated from solar panels in their homes, selling it back to the grid during towering demands, estimated to save hundreds of pounds annually.

Mayor Jamie Driscoll said: "This is the Green New Deal in action.

"This is putting local people back in control – you can save money on your bills and make money".

The operation will be co-ordinated by the use of QSecGrid's app QGEMS.

It uses AI to make smart energy usage recommendations to residents.

Gordon Winston, CEO of QSecGrid, said: "We are excited that the North East is becoming our UK base".