New scheme to tackle fuel poverty

Authorities predict annual savings of �100 per household.

A new initiative is helping Devon County Council tackle fuel poverty and could help home owners reduce their spending on heating bills.

The scheme was launched today (Wednesday) by the Community Council of Devon with financial support from the county council.

The Devon Oil Collective works on the principle that households, who rely on oil delivered to their properties, can reduce their annual spend on heating oil by collectively buying in bulk.

A similar scheme was rolled out in Oxfordshire, and Devon authorities are predicting savings of around �30 to �50 per 1000 litres of heating oil, with annual savings of up to �100 per household.

Elaine Cook, the chief executive of the Community Council of Devon, said: “Through negotiation with heating oil suppliers, we will be able to pass on reduced rates to participating households and business premises.”

She added: “The savings are made on the strength of the orders. The more oil orders we take on behalf of households, the more negotiating strength we have with suppliers and the better the rates.

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“We act like a broker. We negotiate the rate and make the orders on people’s behalf. Oil is delivered to people’s properties within two weeks of the order and they pay the supplier direct.

“We and Devon County Council are working to tackle the issues of fuel poverty, and we are working with organisations across the country to do so.”

Councillor Roger Croad, Devon County Council’s cabinet member for the environment, said: “In these times of rising energy costs, this will help a lot of families currently struggling to afford to keep the heating on during these colder months.”

The community council is looking for volunteers to help them co-ordinate the scheme.

To find out more contact the community council on 01392 248919, email or visit