New scheme to cut heating bills for 6,000 Sheffield council houses

Resident Lily McCall learning how to use her new meter with Jayne Foulkes, a Tenant Liaison Officer from ENER-G Switch2.
Resident Lily McCall learning how to use her new meter with Jayne Foulkes, a Tenant Liaison Officer from ENER-G Switch2.
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Around 6,000 homes in Sheffield are to be fitted with new heat meters in a bid to save council tenants hundreds of pounds each.

The Sheffield Council initiative is designed to save more than £1.4m from annual heating bills in the city.

The systems, which work in a similar way to gas meters, have already been installed in 2,800 homes, with all 6,000 due to be provided with the devices by March 2017.

Figures from the first 227 homes which had the meters installed show households are saving an average £238 per year.

Resident Lily McCall lives at Leverton Gardens with her husband Gerald. She said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s efficient, easy to use and cheaper than the old system.”

The work is part of the council’s five year £300m investment plan into council homes, which will help residents save money by improving insulation, heating, roofs, windows and doors.

Homeowners living in properties bought under the Right to Buy scheme but have stayed on the council’s district heating scheme are also set to benefit.

Councillor Jayne Dunn, cabinet member for Housing, said: “People need all the help they can get at a time when living costs are rising but income is not. We know things are so tight for some people that stark choices are being made between heating and eating, which in the 21st century is appalling.

“It’s really important that the council does everything it can to help people save money. If this scheme can go some way to easing any financial burdens than it can only be a good thing.”

The initiative is part of council efforts to help residents save money on energy bills, with its recent Big Switch programme resulting in 2,000 people in the city switching supplier to cheaper deals. The council also pledged an extra £163,000 funding earlier this year to help those in fuel poverty.