Council tenants are set to save more than £1.4million from their annual heating bills through a new initiative being delivered to thousands of council homes across the city.
Sheffield City Council is installing heat meters to 6,000 homes which up to now have been served by a communal ‘district heating’ scheme. Figures from the first 227 homes on the new system for a full year show households are saving an average of £238 on their annual heating bill.
Resident Lily McCall lives at Leverton Gardens with her husband Gerald. Mrs McCall said: “I think it’s brilliant. It’s efficient, easy to use and cheaper than the old system.”
The new meters allow people to control how much heating they use in the same way as a regular gas meter. They have been fitted in 2,800 homes so far, with all 6,000 set to be complete by March 2017. Homeowners living in properties bought under the Right to Buy scheme but have stayed on the Council’s district heating scheme are also set to benefit.
Councillor Jayne Dunn, Cabinet Member for Housing, said: “We are installing new heat meters to help our tenants save money and have more control over their heating bills.
“People need all the help they can get at a time when living costs are rising but income is not. We know things are so tight for some people that stark choices are being made between heating and eating, which in the 21st century is appalling.
“It’s really important that the council does everything it can to help people save money. If this scheme can go some way to easing any financial burdens than it can only be a good thing.”
The work is part of the council’s five year £300m investment plan into council homes, which will help residents save money by improving insulation, heating, roofs, windows and doors.
The council is committed to helping residents save money on their energy bills and help those struggling to heat their homes. Its Big Switch programme this year provided residents with the cheapest energy tariff on the market, with more than 2,000 people switching suppliers.
The council also pledged an extra £163,000 funding earlier this year to help those in fuel poverty and struggling to heat their homes. Advice and support will be provided to vulnerable residents to help them lower their energy bills and will link with work to help tackle food poverty.
The new meters have been installed by metering and billing company, ENER-G Switch2. They provide residents with much more control over their energy usage and costs.
Kirsty Lambert, Director at ENER-G Switch2, said: “It is fantastic to see the residents of Sheffield benefitting from lower energy bills since the meters have been introduced. Our teams on site have worked closely with residents to help them understand and get the most from the new systems installed and we have received very positive feedback from them. As a business we are committed to putting residents first and helping prevent issues such as fuel poverty in social housing.”