A group of influential Derbyshire-based agencies, including thePeoplesPower, Advice Derbyshire, Citizens Advice Bureaux and Rural Action Derbyshire are all offering positive ways to help Derbyshire residents combat the worrying rise in fuel poverty in the region.
Whilst the rest of the country managed to improve its fuel poverty in 2010, the latest statistics make grim reading for Derbyshire Dales. Here in Derbyshire Dales there was only a tiny fall, making the authority now the 7th worst local authority for fuel poverty (out of 325 local authorities#).
“The national fall in fuel poverty was not heralded as a great government success when the figures were released last week#, as the massive increases in our fuel bills in 2011 mean that the next sets of figures are expected to be far worse. With 24.4% of households in fuel poverty in Derbyshire Dales we want residents to know what help is available for them to help themselves.” Said Mike Shamash, Director of thePeoplesPower.co.uk
Helping residents with their bills
Reducing our fuel bills is one way we can all be better off.
- Make sure your home is as insulated as possible. Visit http://www.warmstreets.co.uk (opens in a new window) to see if you qualify for free or subsidised insulation. Alternatively call 0800 043 9569, or if calling from a mobile 0333 557 9569, to take advantage of subsidised insulation.
- Switch your energy supplier. Derbyshire based thePeoplesPower.co.uk is running a not for profit collective switching service to help people switch to cheaper tariffs
- Get advice on your bills and finance: visit the Advice Derbyshire Portal for access to a wide range of consumer and money advice www.advicederbyshire.org (opens in a new window)
- Get free, confidential and impartial advice from The Citizens Advice Consumer Service on 08454 04 05 06”
- If you use Kerosene to heat your home join the Rural Action Derbyshire Oil Buying scheme which uses the power of collective purchasing to reduce costs for members. For more information visit http://www.ruralactionderbyshire.org.uk/oil (opens in a new window) or call 01629 824797
Collective Switching with thePeoplesPower
The Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Ed Davey recently endorsed thePeoplesPower “This approach from thePeoplesPower to collective switching has great potential for all involved. Households could save substantially on their energy bills, and energy companies have the chance to talk with potential customers on a grand scale. I am calling on energy companies to see this for the opportunity it is. We need a more balanced, sustainable energy market that works for everyone, and this collaboration is an important early step.”
thePeoplesPower is seeking to form collaborations with other organisations# concerned with fuel poverty to raise awareness of the potential benefits of collective switching among their tenants and local people, who can register their interest online. thePeoplesPower.co.uk will then invite energy companies to bid for the new group of customers.
The best green and standard gas and electricity offers will then be taken back to households, along with the advice needed to decide if it is the right deal for them.
“The brilliant thing about this is it can benefit households who might not be used to shopping around on the internet, as well as the so called ‘switching classes’” says Mike Shamash of thePeoplesPower.
Food Banks and Fuel Poverty
“Sorry kids, Christmas is cancelled this year”. Can you imagine having to say that to your children? Well one Derbyshire man did this year, he had to because he’d been made redundant, had no income and had to choose between keeping his children warm or giving them Christmas dinner. It’s almost impossible to believe, but people living in Derbyshire can’t afford to heat their homes and eat, with many vulnerable people choosing to go hungry rather than go cold.
Recent press reports point to an alarming rise in the number of food bank schemes operating, with the Trussell Trust suggesting that one new scheme opens every week in the UK. This is echoed across Derbyshire, where advice agencies of all kinds have seen a dramatic rise in the number and frequency of people requiring food hand-outs to stay afloat.
At Advice Derbyshire we believe it’s an outrage that people find themselves in this situation, and it’s not just the most vulnerable in society, we’ve seen more and more working families struggle to make ends meet.
Kris Ambler, of Advice Derbyshire, said “people across the county have been hit by a triple whammy…as energy and food prices continue to soar beyond the rate of inflation, unemployment reaches record levels and government cuts further bite into our finances many people feel they have nowhere left to turn”. It’s clear that collective action is needed to tackle such broad issues, and Advice Derbyshire want to do this by working together, in partnership. We need people and agencies to come together, to support the great work that is already happening and find new ways to collaborate on these issues.
Company name: thePeoplesPower C.I.C.
Company number: 05754156
Registered in England 2011
thePeoplesPower is a not-for-profit Community Interest Company set up to facilitate collective switching by helping people join together to get cheaper and greener household energy.
- We are reliant on “people power:” we rely on people to spread the word.
- We are community focused, transparent and impartial.
- We are committed to running the business ethically and will invest any surplus beyond running costs in not-for-profit energy saving or renewable energy schemes.
- As a social enterprise we will involve our members.
- We have no relationship with any energy supplier or switching service.