Posted: Mon 29th Feb 2016

Council recognised at Feel the Heat Awards 2016 /
This article is old - Published: Monday, Feb 29th, 2016

A community project which has helped over 2000 people in Carmarthenshire who are struggling to pay their energy bills has been recognised at the Feel the Heat Awards 2016. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Carmarthenshire Fuel Clubs project run by the Housing Services Department of Carmarthenshire County Council, has helped tenants to purchase their oil collectively in bulk purchases, thereby enabling them to obtain the cheapest possible price. The scheme has achieved savings of over £10,000 a year across all the clubs. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The project was announced as a runner up along with Speakeasy Advice Centre based in Cardiff. Grŵp Cynefin was announced as the overall winner. The winners of the awards are being announced on Fuel Poverty Awareness Day, a day which aims to raise awareness of the 1 in 3 households in Wales struggling to afford to heat their homes. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

The Awards, run by fuel poverty charity National Energy Action and supported by UK energy company SSE SWALEC, recognise and showcase projects which are actively championing local efforts to promote affordable warmth. Carmarthenshire County Council was awarded £1000 which will be used to further develop the project. ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Carole Morgan-Jones, Director, NEA Cymru, said: “Fuel poverty is a problem that affects all parts of Wales, but one of the factors that distinguish fuel poverty from other types of poverty in Wales is its concentration in rural areas. One of the contributing factors is a result of mains gas not being available in many rural areas, leaving households reliant on more expensive sources of fuel to heat their homes. That is why projects like the Carmarthenshire oil clubs are so important and the money they are saving residents is money which can be better spent in their local communities.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Cllr Linda Evans, Executive Board Member for Housing Services, Carmarthenshire County Council, said: “We are delighted to have won the award and I am really pleased that the achievements of all the staff and oil club co-ordinators involved in the project at Carmarthenshire County Council have been recognised. This is just part of a range of initiatives we are progressing to help our local residents.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

Assembly Member Mark Isherwood, Chair of the Cross Party Group on Fuel Poverty: “I want to offer my congratulations to Carmarthenshire County Council on the excellent work they are doing to tackle fuel poverty across the county. Schemes like these are having a real impact on people’s lives.” ‌​‌​‌​​​‍‌​‌​​‌‌‌‍‌​‌‌​​‌​‍‌​‌‌‌​‌‌‍‌​‌‌‌‌​​

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