Surviving the Winter

Surviving the Winter

The fuel poverty charity National Enegry Action (NEA) affirms that more than 25,000 older people in England and Wales died of preventable, cold-related illnesses during 2010.

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) released figures in 2009 which confirmed that a fifth of UK households were affected by fuel poverty.

Here is our guide to keeping your energy costs down and keeping your family warm this winter.

Winter fuel payments

Those who are aged 60 plus and live in the UK may be eligible for assistance with their fuel costs this winter.

Should you be aged between 60 and 79 and you are entitled to receive a Winter Fuel Payment, you will receive £100 or £200, dependent on circumstances.

Should you be aged 80 or over and you are entitled to a Winter Fuel Payment, you will receive an extra £50 or £100.

Altogether, you could receive up to £300, dependent on circumstances; Winter Fuel Payments are not taxable.

Remain warm

Remain warm indoors during the winter months. It is equally important to be wrapped up prior to going out, so:

  • Eat and drink warm foods and drinks to keep you warm and provide you with the energy you need cold
  • Keep on the move by undertaking any activity, whether its housework or something else to ensure that your blood is circulating well
  • Dress for the winter by layering up; several layers of thin clothing are considered better than one thick layer. Also remember to wear warm clothing in bed
  • Ensure your home is warm by maintaining it at between 21C and 24C
  • Insulate your home easily and cheaply by placing draft strips where necessary and hang curtains on your front and back doors

Make sure you shut your windows as cold air hitting your head directly at night has been proved to increase blood pressure It may be you are eligible for some other assistance beyond Winter Fuel Payments, so make enquiries.

Older neighbours

Keep an eye on older neighbours and talk to their family as to how they are faring with the weather. Pop round and check that they are fine.

Low cost insulation

You can use draught excluders for low cost insulation. Grants are also available for more costly installation for lofts and cavity walls and double glazing.

Retain the heat

There are numerous grants available for those who wish to lag boilers, double glaze windows and insulate lofts. Should you be aged over 60, check out Help the Aged or visit the Energy Saving Trust.

Make fuel savings

Many people suffer during the winter because they are not able to afford to heat their home adequately. You can make fuel savings by switching energy suppliers and tariffs.

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