28/10/2014

Growing Ceredigion's fuel syndicates to tackle fuel poverty


Ceredigion's Club Cosy/Clwb Clydfirst announced in March, was launched in Aberaeron last week. This is a new local initiative for people in rural areas not connected to the gas mains. It's aims are:

* To help households reduce their fuel bills through energy efficiency.
* To encourage people to get together to buy fuel in bulk to reduce their costs.
* To help people access fuel budget schemes and grants.

The initiative is an 18 month project, funded with £60,000 from the Welsh Government and being run on behalf of Ceredigion Council by Ymlaen Ceredigion. Partners include Nest / Nyth - who work to reduce the number of homes in Wales in fuel poverty - and West Wales Credit Union.

There are currently around ten formal fuel syndicates in Ceredigion:
Aberporth / Llangrannog
Ger y Gors (Pontrhydfendigaid) 
Whilen y Porthmyn (Tregaron)
Llanddewi Brefi
Pennant
Oakford 
Drefach Felindre
Cellan / Llanfair Clydogau
Llechryd
Llanybydder

It's reckoned that these involve around 600 people. And there are probably many other small, informal ones. Club Cosy / Clwb Clyd will be aiming to get more people involved and provide them with support and advice. 

Of course, whilst these schemes all help local people to save money and avoid fuel poverty, this doesn’t necessarily help to reduce carbon emissions. The energy conservation advice side of the scheme is therefore an important component.

Last week's successful meeting to launch the scheme included reps from most of the fuel syndicates listed, many of whom had never met before. In the next 18 months they'll be looking to grow. Anyone interested in getting involved can contact Club Cosy / Clwb Clyd on this link.

Image source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-mid-wales-26785680

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