Shropshire Community Council - acting together to spread the warmth
PUBLISHED: 01:17 18 October 2011 | UPDATED: 20:09 20 February 2013
Keeping warm this winter will be a little easier and a little cheaper thanks to two new projects developed by the Community Council of Shropshire (CCS)
Keeping warm this winter will be a little easier and a little cheaper thanks to two new projects developed by the Community Council of Shropshire (CCS).
The extreme weather conditions last winter left many Shropshire residents paying a high price to keep warm in their homes. For the past year, the Community Council of Shropshire has been highlighting the impact of rising fuel costs on households in rural areas.
In rural Shropshire it is more common for people to live in older, stone-built properties with solid floors and high ceilings. These can be very inefficient and more costly to heat; a problem thats compounded by the higher cost of fuel for properties that are off the mains gas network.
In south Shropshire, residents have been volunteering to help raise awareness of how to save money on their heating bills by reducing their energy consumption. Supported by Calor Gas and energy charity National Energy Action, CCS project officer Clive Leworthy has been working with local organisations and community groups to recruit and train the volunteers.
Fantastic energy projects are already being delivered by groups like Stretton Climate Care, Ludlow 21 and Home Energy Services, explains Clive. More volunteers are needed to replicate this valuable work across other rural communities, to raise awareness of the practical and low cost ways that people can reduce their heating bills this winter.
The Community Council of Shropshire also aims to tackle the high cost of fuel head-on this winter. A new membership scheme has been developed which will enable people to buy heating oil collectively as part of a county-wide syndicate.
Based on a model that has already saved residents in rural Oxfordshire many hundreds of pounds, the scheme will enable members to achieve significant savings on their fuel bills. The schemes coordinator, Lizzy Thain, explains: Combining the buying power of residents, community buildings and small businesses across Shropshire will lower the price for everybody. Coordinated buying also ensures that deliveries can be organised, reducing the environmental impact and congestion of the oil tankers making deliveries in rural villages.
Individuals can find out about becoming a member by contacting project officer Lizzy Thain at CCS. Volunteers across the county are needed tell people about the scheme and collect orders from local members. In return for the time they contribute coordinators will receive free membership of the scheme.
For more information about joining the scheme or becoming a volunteer coordinator please contact Lizzy Thain on 01743 342167 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org