A new energy deal which could help lift 11,000 households out of fuel poverty in Barnsley is to be offered to every household in the borough following a decision by the council to introduce its own good value tariff.
Council staff already work to try to reduce fuel poverty – which is generally regarded to kick in when households spend more than ten per cent of their income on gas and electricity – through schemes to improve insulation.
They can also point residents towards favourable deals for their fuel and because that is of value to energy firms which stand to pick up new customers as a result, some are willing to enter a formal agreement to offer a fuel tariff offering good value to customers.
Now Barnsley Council’s ruling Cabinet have agreed to press ahead with a process to find a suitable company for a contract, which is expected to last for at least five years.
Although the scheme is aimed at reducing fuel poverty, it could have a positive impact on any household in the borough, because the scheme will be open to all.
The objective is not to get the cheapest deal on the market, but to find a combination of a competitive price and good customer service, meaning an affordable and reliable service for those who take up the scheme.
It is anticipated savings to those involved could eventually total millions of pounds.
Cabinet member Coun Roy Miller told the meeting the idea was already used successfully by some local authorities, including Leeds and Doncaster.