DCT to help households reduce their fuel bills this winter

Published on 12th October 2020

With many households set to spend more time than ever at home over the coming months, Devon Communities Together launched a programme of support to help people save money on heating their homes, including energy saving advice and discounts on heating oil.

We are offering free online energy saving events and one-to-one personalised advice as part of the Big Energy Saving Network 2020. Each year the charity engages with people all over Devon to help reduce fuel poverty in the county and this autumn/winter this advice looks set to be more important than ever.

“The Coronavirus pandemic will undoubtedly have huge implications for Devon’s already high rate of fuel poverty,” said Dr Louise MacAllister, Project Manager at Devon Communities Together. “As we head into the colder months - and with more people working from home, self-isolating and generally needing to stay inside more – homes will need more heating, but household budgets may well be more stretched than ever. We’d encourage anybody who would like to save energy and money over the coming months to join our events or book an appointment with our Energy Champions. All the advice is completely free, and in the past we’ve been able to help people save hundreds of pounds, support people to clear energy debt and even signpost people to support with related issues such as housing.”

People who want to understand more about switching suppliers, conserving energy or managing energy debt can join one of the upcoming digital events on 15th October (2pm-3pm) or 22nd October (11am-12pm). The webinars are completely free and attendees will have plenty of opportunity to ask questions of Devon Communities Tog ether’s specially trained Energy Champions, Aggie and Martin. Bookings can be made via Eventbrite here: www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/energy-saving-advice-that-can-help-bring-down-the-energy-costs-of-household-tickets-122044236597

If people would prefer to talk to Aggie or Martin on a one-to-one basis, appointments can be booked by calling 01392 248919 or emailing info@devoncommunities.org.uk.

Taking into account the fact that around 50% of homes in rural Devon are “off-gas”, Devon Communities Together is also supporting those households that rely on heating oil to reduce their bills. The charity runs the Devon Oil Collective, which allows members to take advantage of group-buying discounts without having to shop around. Through its partner AF Affinity, Devon Oil Collective negotiates discounted rates on heating oil for members, meaning that homes from Widecombe to Woolacombe all pay the same reduced price for their heating oil and have just one point of contact to deal with.

There is no fixed membership fee to join Devon Oil Collective. Instead, there is a small charge of 1p per litre of oil ordered, which helps fund the work that Devon Communities Together does throughout the county, including helping to reduce fuel poverty.

“The reality of the ‘rural idyll’ in a Devon winter is that many homes are expensive to heat and may be poorly insulated,” added Dr MacAllister. “Devon Oil Collective helps those homes that have no choice but to rely on heating oil to save money, all while helping to raise money for a charity that helps so many people across Devon.”

To join Devon Oil Collective, visit www.devoncommunities.org.uk/services/devon-oil-collective, call 01392 248919 or email info@devoncommunities.org.uk.