Keeping your house warm
Many families are finding it difficult to keep their home warm.
Living in a cold and damp home can lead to:
- more respiratory infections
- higher levels of asthma
- effects on mental health such as depression
- slower growth and development for children
- less money to spend on food
- family stress
How to save energy
- turn off standby appliances such as your TV at the wall
- turn down your thermostat
- turn off heating in rooms you are not using
- switch off lights when you leave a room
- fill kettles only with the water you need
- put a lid on pans when cooking
- slow cookers and microwaves are the most efficient cooking methods. Gas hobs are more energy efficient compared to electric hobs
- wash clothes at a lower temperature
- if you have one make sure your water immersion heater is not on all day
- be smarter about hot water use. Use a washing up bowl instead of running a tap. Reduce shower time
- draw your curtains at dusk to stop draughts and heat loss
- fit radiator foil behind radiators on external walls
- move furniture away from radiators and heaters
- draught proof your property. Use draught excluders. Seal cracks in floors and skirting boards. Block unused chimneys. Line your letterbox
- monitor your energy use
https://www.turn2us.org.uk/How can I get help?
If you are spending a large amount of your household income on energy bills because you are on a low income or have a low energy efficient home you may qualify for benefits, grants and help offered by the government and energy suppliers.
If you’re living in social housing, contact your housing association or local authority in the first instance. If you’re renting privately or own your home, these services might be able to help:
- National Energy Action - If you or someone you know can’t afford to heat their home then we’re here to help – we offer a range of advice and support both directly to people in need, and via frontline workers and other intermediaries.
- Turn2Us - Turn2us is a national charity providing practical help to people who are struggling financially.
- Healthier Together | Support for the winter months (nenc-healthiertogether.nhs.uk)
If anyone in your household is receiving benefits speak to your energy supplier about help available. The Energy Company Obligation scheme supports energy efficiency improvements.
Energy Saving Trust and Simple Energy Advice (freephone: 0800 444202) have more information.
Warm home discount scheme
The warm home discount scheme is a one off discount of up to £140 off your energy bill over winter. Your energy supplier needs to participate in the scheme for you to get the discount. If you are on a low income you may qualify. Contact your energy supplier as soon as possible. There are a limited number of discounts each winter. Your energy supplier can tell you how to apply.
Cold weather payments
This is a government scheme which gives eligible people £25 for every 7 days the temperature is 0 degrees C or below between 1st November and 31st March. You may qualify if you receive:
- income support
- income based job seeker’s allowance
- income related employment and support allowance
- universal credit
- pension credit
If you qualify it should be paid automatically and does not effect your other benefits. You can check your eligibility using a benefit calculator.
Further help and support
Turn 2 Us is a national charity that helps people who are struggling financially.
Citizens Advice is a network of independent charities who offer free and confidential advice online, over the phone and in person.
British Gas Energy Trust offers energy grants to customers and non-customers. Visit the website or call them on 0121 348 7797
Simple ways to save water at home
MoneyHelper has advice on what to do if you are worried about your energy bills rising