We had a great day yesterday meeting MPs with rural constituencies. Therese Coffey and Paul Aldous both have a keen interest in rural affairs and in particular fuel poverty. As everyone knows it a busy time in politics so we are grateful for the time they made available to meet us.
The strong rural bias in their constituencies means both Therese and Paul are acutely aware of the problems faced by heating oil users. Clearly the recent fall in prices has been a welcome improvement but the outlook is for oil prices to climb again, even if it’s not back to the heady heights of late 2013.
For many people moving to an alternative and cheaper energy source simply isn’t an option. Either the choice doesn’t exist – the mains gas network isn’t changing, or the cost of change is prohibitive. Swopping oil for biomass may result in lower costs but the upfront investment is more than many users can afford.
This means that oil buying clubs are an important tool for consumers and a way of lowering their energy costs without any upfront costs. Both Therese and Paul are aware of the schemes that already exist in their areas, our meetings were an opportunity for us to demonstrate the benefits of the system and how it can help small community groups and offer an alternative to the large council schemes.
We look forward to meeting more MPs.