Hundreds are saving on energy

The month of March may be on the horizon, but the recent frosty mornings have shown that winter isn't ready to leave us just yet.

John Holdich
John Holdich

The cold temperatures must be partly responsible for the Peterborough Energy scheme reaching another key milestone.

Over 2,000 people have now switched to the energy tariff we offer in partnership with OVO Energy.

These residents are seeing an average saving of £242 a year on their gas and electricity bills and have been switching in their numbers, particularly since the turn of the year. I know one Glinton resident who is set to save £800 a year.

If you are considering a switch to save a few pounds, staff are on hand at the Energy Savings Shop in Bridge Street to help.

Whilst you are there, you can also find out about the Empower Peterborough solar panel scheme which has undergone some revisions following government cuts to solar subsidies.

The free scheme has so far seen 220 households fitted with solar panels and we hope to see further installations throughout the year in line with the revision criteria.

For the latest information on both schemes visit the web pages that can be accessed from the council’s website.

Last month I outlined in this column how Peterborough is a thriving environment for new businesses, with figures predicting a record year for start-up companies in the city.

This was reinforced by new analysis that suggests the number of new businesses in Peterborough grew at twice the rate of that in Cambridge last year.

Regional office space provider, Mantle Business Centres, has analysed the past five years of data from the Office of National Statistics and it shows the number of businesses in Cambridge went up 4.9 per cent last year, compared to Peterborough’s 10 per cent increase.

Yes, Cambridge is home to billion-dollar companies like software firm HP Autonomy, and has its deserved appeal, but it is interesting to see the difference in recent new business start-ups when compared to Peterborough.

We know we appeal in this area due to our excellent rail and road networks, more affordable office costs, world-leading digital infrastructure, as well as our commitment to invest in Peterborough’s economic development working with Opportunity Peterborough.

An example of the growth is demonstrated by the Norwegian-owned vehicle technology company ABAX. The company moved its UK head office and 50 strong workforce to Peterborough’s Allia Future Business Centre this month.

On the subject of international interest in the city, I was pleased to be interviewed by Japanese TV broadcaster NHK this week.

They are keen to learn about our ongoing work to cope with the city’s growth. I showed them around the site of the new school build for West Town Primary Academy, where Peterborough District Hospital used to be.

The school will provide double the amount of places that West Town offers currently.

I would like to end by saying well done to catering students from City College Peterborough and Peterborough Regional College.

The City College students rose to the challenge of preparing a buffet ‘fit for a Duchess’, when the Duchess of Cornwall graced the Town Hall with her presence this month.

Then the culinary whizzes from Peterborough Regional College were tasked with serving a three-course meal for guests at the Mayor’s 1940s dinner dance. A great job all round.