MORE than 900 Barnsley residents have switched to a council-backed energy tariff for their homes since the deal was set up.

The scheme was intended to provide residents with a trustworthy alternative to the standard rate charges for gas and electricity offered by the ‘big six’ energy suppliers and now 917 residents have switched over.

It has a further advantage in that it offers ‘green’ energy, meaning the power is generated without producing carbon dioxide.

The scheme is one of a range of measures introduced by the council to try to help tackle fuel poverty and reach its own goal of becoming carbon zero in future.

Coun Jake Lodge, who represents Worsbrough, questioned what measures the authority had taken to tackle fuel poverty at a full meeting of the council.

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He was told by Coun Tim Cheetham, a member of the ruling cabinet with responsibility for that area of the council’s work, that wide ranging work was being done, which included increasing the energy efficiency of the council’s own housing, which is managed through Berneslai Homes.

In addition, the authority has been involved in an organisation called Better Homes Yorkshire since 2015, a programme which has helped to get 400 homes in the private sector equipped with new central heating boilers, which cut fuel use so reduce both bills and carbon dioxide output.

The council is already experimenting with the use of heat pumps which extract warmth from the atmosphere as an alternative to burning gas - like a fridge in reverse - and is also involved in a project which could see heat extracted from the water of flooded mine workings in future.

Provided by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.