Council launches fuel aid scheme

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A SCHEME to help residents cope with rocketing energy prices and alleviate fuel poverty has been set up by Wyre Council.

The authority wants those struggling to pay their gas and electricity bills to sign up to the Collective Energy Switching project to strike a deal with energy companies.

In a report carried out by Roger Berry, Wyre’s neighbourhood services portfolio holder, he revealed retail energy prices have doubled in less than seven years and 22.5 per cent of all Wyre households are living in fuel poverty.

He said: “In 2004 the average household fuel bill was £600. This had risen to £1,250 in 2011.

“It is proposed the council establishes a collective energy switching scheme for the borough to enable households across Wyre to easily engage with the gas and electricity market and get the best deal for the energy they use.”

The scheme means residents can combine their purchasing power to bulk buy their energy as a group, enabling those registered to switch to cheaper energy bills.

A similar campaign has been set up by Blackpool Council and gained 1,000 supporters, with residents having another month to sign up.

Tony Ward, of Wyre Senior Forum, said: “Older people will welcome any steps being taken to reduce their fuel bills.

“Schemes like this have been tried in other parts of the UK and can produce annual savings of between £200 and £300. Support from the council is good news.”

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