Rural Communities Urged to save Energy to Cut Fuel Bills


People living in rural communities in Wychavon and in Stratford District are being urged to reduce their fuel bills by saving energy as part of a new Affordable Warmth project. Community First and Warwickshire RCC are joining forces to target parishes along the Worcs/Warks boder for special help with staying warm and well this winter.

People living here will be encouraged to:

  • Check to make sure they are getting the best energy deal
  • Switch by shopping around to get a better price
  • Insulate by being more energy efficient around their home.
  • Keep well and active


The project will be launched with a free ‘drop in’ lunch on Weds 24th October as part of Big Energy Saving Week.

This project targets rural households which tend to have greater fuel poverty than the national average. In 2009, around 23% of them were fuel poor compared to 17% of urban households and 19% of households overall.

The new Energy Outreach Agents, Sharon and Jackie, will be providing support and advice to rural households during Big Energy Saving Week and beyond. They can offer information about any issues related to keeping warm and well, such as tackling fuel debts, how to read a fuel bill, dealing with ill health (including stress and depression) and finding ways to get out and stay active in cold weather. Their help is confidential and you can be assured of a warm welcome and speedy response whatever your enquiry, so please do get in touch.

For more information please contact Karen Humphries on 01684 892692 or e-mail on karenh@comfirst.org.uk


Facts about rural fuel poverty

  •  32% of households in rural areas are off the gas grid (Source: Fuel Poverty – The problem and its measurement. Interim report of the Fuel Poverty Review (2011), Department of Energy & Climate Change)
  • In England, 28% of households who are not on mains gas networks in Villages, Hamlets and Isolated Dwellings are in fuel poverty compared to 13% who are on mains gas. (Source: State of the Countryside (2010), Commission for Rural Communities)
  • In rural areas, particularly Villages (33%) and Hamlets (37.5%) – a large proportion of households use oil fired heating systems. (Source: Statistical Digest of Rural England (2012), Defra)
  • 6.5% of Hamlet and Isolated dwellings and 4.7% of Villages use solid fuel fired systems to heat their homes. (Source: Statistical Digest of Rural England (2012), Defra)
  • The average modelled fuel bill for an off-grid property is estimated to be £1580 compared to £1300 for a property on the gas grid. (Source: Fuel Poverty – The problem and its measurement. Interim report of the Fuel Poverty Review (2011), Department of Energy & Climate Change)
  • Proportion of households in fuel poverty by main heating fuel, 2010. (Source: Annual Report on Fuel Poverty Statistics (2012), Department of Energy and Climate Change)
  1. Gas (mains) – 14%
  2. Electricity – 30%
  3. Heating oil – 25%
  4. Solid fuel – 58%

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