It is essential to keep warm, particularly during the cold winter months, to help prevent conditions such as hypothermia, bronchitis, chest infections and pneumonia Those at particular risk include vulnerable people, such as the elderly, families on low income and people with long term medical conditions.
There are a number of things that people can do to help themselves, both medically and financially. For more information view the:
Your energy provider
If you are struggling with your winter fuel costs speak to your energy provider, who should be able to offer you a standard monthly direct debit charge to enable you to spread the cost of your energy over the year with fixed regular payments.
If you are a pensioner have a disability, are chronically sick or hearing and/or visually impaired, your energy provider has an obligation to provide a range of free services, designed to make your life easier. You should contact your provider to find out what is available.
More information is available on Advice guide - self help from the Citizens Advice Bureau
Hitting the cold spots
Hitting the Cold Spots helpline 0800 804 8601 can help and advise you on ways to keep warm and healthy this winter.
Winter Fuel Payment
Most people aged 60 and over qualify for a Winter Fuel payment made every November to December. If you have not received your entitlement, phone 08459 15 15 15, textphone 0845 601 5613.
Cold Weather Payment
You may also be eligible for a Cold Weather Payment for each week of very cold weather in your area if you get Pension Credit.
You may also be eligible if you get
Energy Efficiency Advice Centre
Your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre will give you free advice on how to make your home more energy-efficient and comfortable and to save you money on fuel bills. Freephone 0800 804 8601.
For more information see the Energy efficiency web pages
Warm Front Scheme
If you receive certain benefits, you may be eligible for a Warm Front scheme grant of up to £2,700 to improve heating and insulation. Freephone 0800 316 2805.
See the Warm Front web pages for more details