As forecasters predict an ‘unusually cold winter’ for Wales, councils and Registered Social Landlords (RSLs) in Wales are being urged to adopt a revolutionary new pay-as-you-go heating system which could “transform the lives of low income families”.
In order to alleviate fuel poverty in Wales, national oil distributor is calling for the cost-effective KeroKeg system, which is proving successful in Ireland, to be introduced across Wales.
The company, which supplies over 65,000 customers in Wales with domestic heating oil, said the innovative new heating system would enable socially deprived households to access vital oil supplies without spending hundreds of pounds at a time.
KeroKeg, which was launched in 2016, allows users to buy heating oil on a weekly basis in small manageable amounts of 30 or 50 litres, rather than in bulk which is currently the norm. Residents can then gauge their exact heating oil usage enabling them to more effectively budget towards their fuel spend.
Oil 4 Wales’ managing director Colin Owens claims KeroKeg is at the very cutting edge of tackling fuel poverty.
Having been selected as a partner in Wales, he said:
“At Oil 4 Wales we are committed to ‘working with the community, for the community’. As such we have listened to our valued customers, and we feel this new KeroKeg system is vital to supporting families and pensioners on a low income as we head into the winter months.
“We recognise that purchasing oil in larger quantities may not be entirely affordable for low income families so with KeroKeg you can buy 30 or 50 litres instead of 500 to 1500 litres. Once installed KeroKeg allows households to gauge their exact heating oil usage and start to take steps to reduce consumption to match their weekly budget, while maintaining a comfortable level of warmth in their home.”
The most recent figures from September 2016 showed there are about 291,000 households living in fuel poverty in Wales – equivalent to 23% of households.
Approximately 70% of those in receipt of the fuel allowance rely on oil as their primary source of heating. Almost 70% of all people in social rented houses are in fuel poverty and the majority using oil as their primary heating source.
In order for KeroKeg to be rolled out across Wales to alleviate fuel poverty, landlords and councils would need to invest in a one-off installation cost of £975 per unit.
Mr Owens continued:
“Despite the considerable benefits, KeroKeg is yet to be introduced in Wales and requires local authorities and RSLs to invest in the initial installation costs. I would urge councils to rethink the introduction of these systems, and invest in making this transformative technology a reality for families across Wales.”