East Riding of Yorkshire Council is stepping up action to support the one in four homes that are not on the gas network.
With 27 per cent of East Riding homes, many in rural areas, off the network, they are reliant on other types of domestic energy such as oil, coal and liquid petroleum gas.
In the coming weeks, as the temperatures drop, the council’s Trading Standards service is visiting bulk heating oil suppliers to ensure the accuracy of the gauges so that residents get exactly what they are paying for.
Similar checks in past years have shown that 54 per cent of the tankers supplying fuel oil were found to be non-compliant, as were 62 per cent of coal and coke deliveries and 33 per cent of gas bottle filling plant.
The programme of visits by trading standards officers covers every coal merchant, oil supplier and gas bottle fillers at least once in every two years. This year, more tests will be taking place.
The council is also underlining its concern for those in fuel poverty who have to spend more as a proportion of their income to keep warm. A report will go before the environment and regeneration overview and scrutiny committee on 18 September, reporting on a wide range of new initiatives.
Councillor Symon Fraser, portfolio holder for environment, housing and planning, said: “We are continuously looking at ways of helping those residents facing energy cost rises. Many are elderly, on fixed incomes or in rural locations.
“In this report to committee we cover some of the shorter and longer term measures that are being introduced. We are looking at this issue from every angle as different initiatives can all add up to making a big difference.”
The initiatives in the report include:
* Obtaining Government funds to deliver solutions for privately-rented properties which are expensive to heat and where normal insulation cannot be installed
* Tackling landlords who have persistently failed to meet their obligations under the Energy Performance of Buildings Regulations. The council has introduced a fixed penalty charge of £200 for each offence of non-compliance
* Delivering advice and guidance to residents in rural areas who are not on the gas network. The campaign is bringing together the combined resources and expertise of several council services, including Public Health, Social Care and the Rural Partnership.
The report also points to other planned activities and programmes, including the draw down of funding from the Energy Company Obligation Fund to support work in Withernsea.