Cheshire East’s 170,000 households could soon benefit from a ground breaking energy deal aimed at tackling fuel poverty by buying their supply through their local council.
Businesses could also take advantage of the low-cost scheme unveiled by the Council today (Tuesday.)
Cheshire East Council will take the lead role in a strategic partnership with registered housing providers to become only the second local authority in the country to introduce a low-cost energy scheme for its residents.
The alleviation of fuel poverty amongst Cheshire East residents is a key priority for the Council which has been investigating a range of potential initiatives to address this.
It is estimated that 9.5% of households in the Borough are living in fuel poverty, which is 0.9% below the national average. The local authority has initiated a scheme which will enable anyone in the borough to buy their energy at a competitively low cost when compared to the Big Six energy suppliers.
The Council is already in talks with a supplier and further announcements will be made in due course as to how soon residents can begin switching to the Council’s own preferred energy provider offering the one of the most competitive tariffs.
Today’s Cabinet meeting heard the project relates directly to the Council’s commitment to putting residents first and the key priority to develop resilient communities.
Council Leader, Councillor Michael Jones said today: “This is yet another innovation for Cheshire East Council, the council which has frozen council tax for four consecutive years.
“Now we have initiated a scheme to alleviate fuel poverty in the borough so that low-income families who are worried about paying their energy bill this winter know that their local council can ease the pain by offering a scheme tailored to their circumstances.”
“My concern is to ensure that families and older people in particular do not have to choose between heating and eating.
“I want the people of Cheshire East to live well and for longer and not to have to worry about heating their homes and meeting huge energy bills.”
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has stated that proportionately more households in rural areas are in fuel poverty than the national average with a greater number of households having to rely on electricity, oil or LPG for heating.
The Council has carried out a rigorous evaluation of submissions from a number of bidders for the contract to ensure that the successful provider is financially sound and can meet the Council’s criteria in terms of stability, pricing and tariffs.