Winter conditions can be bad for our health, especially for people aged 65 or older, and those with long-term health conditions. But help is here to keep you warm and well.
If you’re worried about rising energy costs, there are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating, or support with bills. Keep reading for more information.
Food and fuel bank referrals
If you need help with accessing food, or affording fuel to heat your home, we are here to help, and may be able to refer you to a local foodbank or fuel bank. All you need to do is:
Email our community engagement team on firstname.lastname@example.org OR contact Citizens Advice One Front Door on 0808 278 7958.
Government schemes to help heat your home
There are also other government initiatives you can maximise this winter if you are eligible:
Help to Heat Scheme
We can help eligible residents reduce their carbon emissions and lower their fuel bills by making poor performing homes more energy efficient. It takes around four to six weeks from start to finish (once approved) and includes measures such as free loft and cavity wall insulations.
Households with a total income of below £35,000 (after tax), who are living in a property with a low EPC / energy efficiency rating (a score of 60 or below), may be eligible for the Help to Heat Scheme.
You can find out your property’s EPC rating through the Gov.uk website. For more information, including help with getting started, please email our Energy Officer, Matthew Johnston, on: email@example.com
Warmer Winter Support Scheme
Our Community Engagement team are supporting local charities, First Days and SHARE, to provide blankets to residents who need some help to keep warm this winter.
Residents will be able to collect blankets from key locations across the borough. Keep an eye on the First Days website for more details: firstdays.net/blankets
We are also accepting donations of new or nearly new good quality blankets. Use the link above for details on drop-off locations.
Household Support Fund
The Household Support Fund will help councils assist vulnerable households to cover essential costs in the coming months. We are currently working through the details and finalising our plans to distribute the funds - please bear with us and keep an eye out for more information in the coming weeks.
Keeping warm at home
Keeping yourself and your home warm will reduce your risk of becoming unwell this winter. Here are some tips:
- Heat your home to at least 18 degrees
- Try using an electric blanket or hot water bottle to stay warm in bed
- Try to eat at least one hot meal a day
- Wear several layers as this helps to trap warm air
- Eat regularly and stay hydrated to keep yourself energised and your body warm
- Exercise regularly to keep your blood circulating and your body warm
- Try not to sit still for more than an hour; get up and stretch your legs
- If you can get outside, try walking regularly, but don’t forget to wear enough layers
Energy saving tips
These simple steps from the Energy Saving Trust can help you save money and reduce your carbon footprint:
- Save £55 a year by turning your thermostat down by one degree
- Save £35 a year by turning appliances off at the plug and avoiding standby mode
- Save £25 a year and stay warm by draught-proofing your windows, doors and other areas
- Save £16 a year by reducing your dishwasher and washing machine use by one cycle a week
- Save £11 a year by turning your lights off when you’re not using them
- Save £4 a year (per person) by spending one minute less in the shower each day
- Save £6 a year by only filling the kettle with the amount of water you need
- Save 3 litres of water a minute by turning your tap off when brushing your teeth or shaving
- Save money and energy by washing your clothes on a lower temperature
NHS and Public Health England advice
Advice leaflets on how to stay warm and well this winter
You can find more information on help available this winter on our Local Support Hub webpage.