A new Council scheme will help people switch to a better tariff, improve their home’s energy efficiency and claim grants to reduce fuel use and costs.
Through the Community Energy Support Scheme, a family with average usage could save up to £150 per year on their gas and electricity bills – as well as helping the environment. The service will be available to all Rotherham residents from 1 March 2021, but the Council particularly wants to reach those on low incomes.
Rotherham Council’s cabinet member for jobs and the local economy, Cllr Denise Lelliott, said: “Fuel poverty is a significant issue, especially with so many people’s incomes hit by COVID-19. This service will help ensure Rotherham residents aren’t spending more than they need to on energy bills, while also helping us to tackle climate change.
“Comparing standing charges, unit prices and contract terms to find the best value for your household can be a real challenge. One of the very practical ways this service will help Rotherham residents is by providing personalised tariff shortlists, and helping people understand the switching process.”
As well as making it easier for people to switch tariffs and suppliers, the scheme will provide individual advice around matters such as changing overly expensive pre-payment meters and reducing overall fuel use. It will also signpost people to any funding they can access, such as the Government’s Green Homes Grant.
Having been unable to find a partner that could deliver all the scheme requirements, in January the cabinet voted to provide support to residents directly – through the Council’s Community Energy Rotherham service.
Cllr Lelliot added: “While it was disappointing that we couldn’t secure a partner, our commitment to help residents reduce their bills and to improve energy efficiency remains. I am delighted we’re going ahead to provide this valuable service to Rotherham residents directly.”
The Community Energy Rotherham team has plans to take its service into community settings and to run events when COVID restrictions are lifted.
While COVID restrictions remain in place, support will be provided by phone and online. People can request a call-back for themselves (or a friend or relative) by visiting www.facebook.com/CommunityEnergyRotherham