OVO launches new energy scheme to help households save at least £155 on bills

With more cold snaps forecast in the coming weeks, OVO is today launching an energy efficiency pilot scheme to support local communities with advice and tools to slash bills this winter.

Created in partnership with community business support charity Plunkett Foundation, the scheme has armed 10 shopkeepers in stores from Kent to Cumbria with energy-saving knowledge from OVO’s Energy Experts, as well as free radiator keys.

According to OVO, combined savings of implementing its tips, such as bleeding radiators, reducing the boiler flow temperature, and draught-proofing doors and windows, could see over £155 knocked off annual energy bills.

The community scheme comes as OVO research shows three quarters (74 percent) said their corner shop is a pillar of the community and an important hub of information, and more than half (56 percent) said their local community would benefit from a scheme that provides energy efficiency advice and tools, such as radiator keys.

Despite two-fifths (40 percent) of Britons saying they would like to bleed their radiators, one in five (19 percent) have no idea how to do it.

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Gráinne Regan, head of heat at OVO, said “OVO’s team of Energy Experts visit thousands of households nationwide, bearing witness to the negative impact that the UK’s leaky housing stock is having on bills.

“Bleeding radiators and draught-proofing may seem like small acts, but simple changes like these can make a genuine difference to energy bills.”

Community members simply need to ask participating shopkeepers to borrow a free radiator key.

They will then be provided with guidance on energy efficiency measures, including how to bleed radiators. Everyone will be encouraged to return the keys to stores once finished, so more community members can benefit from the cheap and easy ways to improve heating circulation in the home.

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Claire Spendley, community business manager at Plunkett Foundation added: “We’re so grateful that OVO has chosen to support the work we do with local community-owned shops.

“Many of our shops are located in rural areas that don’t always have easy access to the information or tools they need to improve energy efficiency. We hope to see many customers taking advantage of the scheme.”

Karen Roberts, 53, manager of St Tudy Community Shop, Cornwall, which is one of the stores taking part in the energy efficiency scheme, said: “Our shop is a vital resource for the people in our community.

“Customers rely on us for everything from daily essentials to information and access to vital services, so they can get the most out of their lives. But we can’t be experts in all areas.

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“By working with OVO to share crucial knowledge on energy efficiency, we’ll help our customers to lower their energy bills. We help take care of the people we serve and I can’t think of a better way to support them this winter.”

The full list of Plunkett Foundation stores partaking in the project can be found below:

  • St Tudy Community Shop, Bodmin, Cornwall
  • Trawden Forest Community Shop, Lancashire
  • Winster Village Shop Association Limited, Winster
  • Flintham Community Shop, Nottingham
  • Smarden Community Store, Smarden, Ashford
  • Clapham Village Store, Lancashire
  • Nenthead Community Shop Ltd, Cumbria
  • Hindon Village Stores, Salisbury
  • The Cotherstone Old Chapel Project, Barnard Castle
  • Aston on Clun Community Shop, Aston on Clun.

Anyone who isn’t in proximity to a store can head to OVO’s social channels to sign up for a free radiator key and watch a helpful video on how to bleed radiators on OVO’s website.

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