ASussex-based Fuel Co-op says it wants to help Wealden residents get a better deal on their heating fuel.
Wealden District Council’s Affordable Warmth Strategy 2011-2016 showed 36 per cent of all rural households have no mains gas and rely on more expensive fuels such as fuel oil, electric storage and solid fuel to heat their homes.
Fuel poverty (where households have to spend more than 10 per cent of their income on keeping warm) is more prevalent among low income households in the countryside, affecting 44 per cent of poorer homes, compared to 26 per cent of the same income households in urban areas. Now the Fuel Co-op, which has already saved Lewes District members £15,000, says it can help people in Wealden if they join.
Cllr Graham Wells, Cabinet member for Housing at Wealden District Council, said: “Many Wealden residents in rural areas have no choice but to use heating oil for their central heating and because of this, the cost of staying warm in winter can be cruelly high – particularly if they are on a fixed income.
“Organising groups of buyers within a community is a great way of using bulk buying and reduced delivery costs to keep heating fuel bills down.
“We would encourage community groups and parish organisations to help promote the work of The Fuel Co-op among their own communities.”
Founder and manager, Johnny Denis added: “The overall average saving per order stands at just under £60. We always save our members money.”
To extend its services to Wealden households, the Fuel Co-op is looking for community organisations and parish councils to encourage groups of local people to get involved.
The Fuel Co-op publishes a list of monthly order dates to allow members to plan ahead for their fuel needs. All the orders received by the monthly deadline are put together and quotes obtained from local oil suppliers.
The Fuel Co-op then negotiates for its combined order with all its local suppliers until it gets the best price it can. You can join at www.thefuel.coop.