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New energy tariff for Wakefield residents could save £300 a year

Gas and Electricity bill from British Gas'Picture by Dean Atkins
Gas and Electricity bill from British Gas'Picture by Dean Atkins

Residents in Wakefield could save up to £300 a year on their energy bills, once they are able to switch to a cheaper, not-for-profit tariff.

Wakefield Council has approved plans to give households in the district access to the White Rose Scheme, which was set up by the local authority in Leeds.

Already available in Bradford and Halifax, White Rose is legally bound to offer consistently low prices to consumers. Any profit it makes is reinvested into environmental projects.

It is hoped that the move will reduce the proportion of homes in Wakefield which are classed as being in fuel poverty, a figure which currently stands at 40 per cent, the national average is 33 per cent.

It follows the success of a project in Castleford, where some of the town’s old terraced properties in the Wilson Street were given free cavity wall insulation to help cut bills.

Speaking at a Cabinet meeting on Tuesday, deputy council leader Denise Jeffery said: “This is really important for the citizens of Wakefield.

“We’re going to tap into Leeds City Council’s White Rose Scheme. What it will mean for residents is reducing fuel poverty across the district.

“We’ve had a pilot scheme in Castleford dealing with cavity wall insulation. That’s going to be extended and that’s made a huge difference.”

The plans were unanimously backed by senior councillors.

Transport portfolio holder Matthew Morley said: “As you go around the district fuel poverty is one of the biggest things that you see around this area, and you see the problems people have just keeping warm in winter.

“What’s happened in Castleford is absolutely fantastic. I live in the local area there. It’s wonderful to see how the most vulnerable people in our society are being helped by this.”

The scheme will go hand in hand with the council’s pledge to slash the city’s carbon dioxide emissions by 2050.

Households will be given more information about how to switch their supplier at a later date.