Charity plans heating fuel scheme

An Essex charity has launched a nationwide initiative to provide heating fuel for rural communities, according to reports.

By mimicking existing local syndicates, the Rural Community Council of Essex (RCCE) intends to bulk buy heating fuel from energy companies and then offer it for sale to rural homeowners and businesses, with knock-down prices on delivery.

The RCCE's trading arm will charge a membership fee of £20 and £100 per year for households and businesses respectively, and for that will ensure members' fuel orders are negotiated down by the charity.

According to the charity, almost 138,000 homes and businesses in Essex do not have gas supplied by the mains, and are entirely reliant on fuel deliveries.

While fuel deliveries are generally reliable, extreme weather can make getting fuel to vulnerable people extremely difficult. During the period of heavy snow in late 2011 and early 2012, a number of rural communities were cut off from main roads.

Copyright Press Association 2012

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