Rural Fuel Poverty Champion

Rural Action Derbyshire's Community Oil Buying lead has been recognised for her commitment to helping vulnerable residents through the energy crisis, receiving special commendation at a prestigious national event.  

Emma Simpson, Head of Communications and Administration, was celebrated at the National Energy Action Conference in Birmingham this week, taking home a prize in the Energy Crisis Recognition Awards.  

Emma runs our Community Oil Buying Scheme, which organises bulk purchases of heating oil for its members. Reaching over 600 people every month, the project helps to drive down costs for those living off the mains gas grid - which accounts for around 40% of people in the Derbyshire Dales. 

We have also set up an Oil Bank to provide a one-off emergency oil delivery for rural households in severe fuel poverty.  Emma is working to get additional financial support for off-gas households and donations of coal for those using solid fuel to heat their home too.

Emma has raised awareness of the impact of the energy crisis on rural people appearing on local, regional and national BBC news programmes as well as Radio 4 and BBC Countryfile.  

Our Head of Communications and Administration was celebrated during the National Energy Action Conference at the Birmingham Conference and Events Centre earlier this week, with the event spotlighting those who “have worked tirelessly to help people living in fuel poverty during the current energy crisis”.  

Speaking after the conference, Emma said: “I’m so proud to have been recognised for my work on rural fuel poverty, especially supporting those living off the mains gas grid.  

“The high cost of energy continues to be challenging for many across Derbyshire, but especially for the off grid households still waiting for their Alternative Fuel Payment from the government.”  

Those wanting to join the Community Oil Buying Scheme can do so using the bottom below. Orders are made every two weeks, with customers submitting how much oil they require online.

Community Oil Buying