23 January 2019
As weather warnings begin to be issued across the country, it is now more important than ever to start preparing for the cold conditions. This includes keeping warm, staying safe and making sure to report any issues or problems.
Keeping warm at home
Cold weather can affect your health so it’s important you to take simple measures to keep you and your family warm. For example, your home should be heated to at least 18C, especially if you’re not very mobile, are 65 or over, or have a health condition. You can also keep your home warm by keeping your windows closed and curtains drawn at night and shutting doors to block out draughts.
If you have older neighbours and relatives, check on them to ensure they are safe and well, are warm enough and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during the cold weather.
To find out more information, please visit: https://www.nhs.uk/live-well/healthy-body/keep-warm-keep-well/.
Help with heating costs
This week is Big Energy Saving Week 2019, a national campaign to help people understand their energy use, cut their bills and get the financial support they are entitled to.
If you’re struggling to afford your energy bills, you might be able to take advantage of certain benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers. These include:
The Warm Home Discount Scheme - You may be able to get £140 off your electricity bill if you’re getting the guarantee credit of Pension Credit or on a low income. Not all suppliers are part of the scheme, so please check with your supplier first.
Winter Fuel Payment – This annual one-off payment of between £100 and £300 is for people aged 65 or over to help pay for heating during the winter.
Cold Weather Payments – These are one-off payments to help pay for heating costs when it’s very cold. You’ll get a payment each time the temperature drops below a specific temperature for a set period of time. You’ll only be eligible if you’re receiving certain benefits.
Switching energy suppliers
Many people stay with the same supplier for years and as a result pay more than they need for their energy use. In recent years it has become easier to switch tariff or supplier, allowing users to save hundreds per year on energy bills.
By checking what your current usage is and what you are paying, you can then research other options to see if you can find a cheaper alternative.
Citizens Advice offers a comparison tool on its website here: https://energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk/.
It is important that you report any issues or problems to us so we can take the necessary steps to repair the problem.
More information on how to report a repair is available on our website here: Report a repair