Energy Recovery Facility Open Day – A “Burning” Success

Jack Naughton of Lowedges, aged 11 having great fun being shown how to operate the crane by ERF Team leader, Sean Pearson

Jack Naughton of Lowedges, aged 11 having great fun being shown how to operate the crane by ERF Team leader, Sean Pearson

Residents flocked in their droves on Saturday to enjoy a fascinating tour of Sheffield’s Energy Recovery Facility (ERF) to see exactly what happens to their black bin waste. The Open Day was deemed a ‘burning’ success as residents walked away truly amazed after seeing firsthand how their rubbish is used to provide heating and power across our city.

Veolia and Sheffield City Council opened the doors of the ERF for its fourth annual Open Day and were delighted to welcome over 180 residents – all eager to have a look inside the plant. During the Open Day – which proved to be the most popular to date, residents were taken on a ‘behind the scenes’ tour of the facility guided by a technical expert and had all their questions answered along the way.

The highlight for most was a visit to the Control Room to see the crane in action mixing and lifting the waste into the incineration unit to be burnt. Visitors were astonished to learn how the process uses our black bin waste to generate heating, hot water and electricity for buildings across Sheffield. Residents then enjoyed time in the Visitor Centre completing a quiz to test their new found knowledge, the chance to take part in various recycling activities and were even able to sit in a real life refuse collection vehicle!

Councillor Jack Scott, Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene added: “It is great that so many people came to see for themselves how the non-recyclable waste they throw in the black bin is used to heat homes and buildings in the city. Not only does this mean Sheffield has one of the lowest waste to landfill rates in Europe but it also saves 13,000 tonnes of C02 from being released into the atmosphere each year!”

Plant Manager, Antony Smith commented: “The Open Day has been an astounding success and we have been blown away by just how popular the day has been. It is great for us to be able to show residents what happens to the waste they put in their black bin after it has been collected and the environmental benefits of managing non recyclable waste in this way. Residents were truly astonished by what they saw and we look forward to opening our doors again next year!”

Mr Naughton of Lowedges who attended the Open Day with his son, Jack added:  “We have had a great time at the ERF Open Day – it was really interesting. It is amazing to think that the hot water in public buildings we regularly use, such as Ponds Forge and the City Hall is created from our black bin waste!  Jack had a fabulous time and even had a go at using the crane to pick up the waste. He was proud to have picked up 3 tonnes of waste in one go”.

Sheffield’s ERF burns up to 225,000 tonnes of waste a year including 96% of black bin waste. Managing non recyclable waste in this way generates enough electricity to power 22,600 homes and provides heating and hot water to 150 buildings in Sheffield through the District Energy Network.

For more information about the Energy Recovery Facility, future Open Days or your Waste and Recycling Services, please call: 0114 273 4567 or visit www.veolia.co.uk/sheffield. If you are a Twitter user and wish to follow us then you can find the ‘Recycle4Sheffield’ profile page at: http://www.twitter.com/recycle4shef.

Sheffield Relaunches the Big Sheffield Switch

Sheffield City Council is helping to throw a financial lifeline to families and individuals struggling with rising living costs as it launches the popular Big Sheffield Switch deal once again.

The council is asking residents throughout the region to sign up, switch and save with the free-to-join ‘Big Sheffield Switch,’ which aims to help homeowners and tenants save money on their gas and electricity bills by joining an online auction with energy suppliers. The more households who sign up from this week, the more buying power the council will have and the better the deal for participants.

More than 800 people benefitted from the first Big Sheffield Switch last year, saving an average £120 each. Some homeowners reported a massive £352 saving.

This year’s auction will take place on 10 March and participants can switch anytime until 24 March.

Councillor Jack Scott, Sheffield City Council’s Cabinet Member for Environment, Recycling and Streetscene, said:

“I know that energy bills are a really big concern for lots of people, so I’m delighted to be launching The Big Sheffield Switch again and building on what was a really successful scheme in 2013.

“If you are worried about rising energy costs and the effect big bills may have on your family’s budget then this is a great, simple way of making sure you get signed up to the deal that offers you the best value for money. Even better – by signing up, people are helping other switchers in the city get access to even better energy bills too.

“We’re really excited to also be offering an environmentally friendly tariff and greater choice so people can choose which the package that benefits them the most. I hope as many people as possible sign up to this scheme and we can all save a lot of money together.”

The scheme is really simple and open to everyone. The energy suppliers bid for the householders’ custom by offering their cheapest tariff and the best value providers will be chosen. The top five tariffs, plus eco-friendly options, will be offered to residents who have signed up.

Anyone can register and switch to the new energy deal – even if they currently pay their energy bills by direct debit, cheque, cash or use a pre-payment meter. It also applies if you own your own home, rent from a private landlord, Sheffield Homes or another social landlord, have never switched before or whether you live in Sheffield or not.

Households are under no obligation and when they receive their offer they can choose to accept it or not depending upon whether it works for them. All residents will need when they register is a recent energy bill so that their annual energy usage can be calculated.

Margaret Nichols, of Deepcar, took advantage of the Big Sheffield Switch last year and says she uses a lot of gas to keep her home warm.

“I feel the cold a lot so the temperature in my home is always about 25 degrees,” she said.

“That’s why it’s so important that I’m on the right tariff which offers the best value for money. We’ve saved on electricity, which I’m pleased about. I’m quite savvy about managing my money and bills but I think the Big Sheffield Switch is great for people who are perhaps not as confident looking around for the best deal. I’ve already recommended the Switch to my brother and sister in law and my neighbours. It was a good experience and really easy.”

For more information about the Big Sheffield Switch or to register your interest call 0800 9887035 or visit www.sheffield.gov.uk/cheaperenergy.

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Labour Action on Energy Prices

I warmly welcome the announcement by Ed Miliband that One Nation Labour is planning to freeze energy bills until the start of 2017.

Gas and electricity bills have gone up £300 for the average household since 2010.

Under David Cameron, Britain’s families are facing a cost of living crisis. Prices have risen faster than wages in 38 of the 39 months that David Cameron has been in Downing Street and energy bills have gone up by almost £300. David Cameron’s failure to tackle rip-off bills has meant that many people are struggling to pay their bills.

I know how people in Sheffield are struggling with the rising cost of living. Many people in my ward have spoken to me worried about their energy bills, and having to make a choice between heating their homes or buying food.

When the price of energy increases energy companies pass this on but when it drops consumers don’t see their bills fall. David Cameron can’t deal with the cost of living crisis because he stands up for a privileged few, not for ordinary families. David Cameron has cut tax for people on over £150,000 a year while raising it for everyone else.

Ed Miliband says Labour will freeze prices until the start of 2017 if Labour wins the next election. And he says we will break up the big energy companies so that we can all get a fair deal.

This will save a typical household £120 and an average business £1,800.

But people need help now. So I’m calling on David Cameron to freeze our bills now. And I’m asking people to sign my petition so that the voices of Sheffield are heard loud and clear in Downing Street