Winter is fast approaching and now is the time to prepare, we have some great links, hits and tips throughout this article that can help you or a relative to plan for the winter months, if you do need more help this winter call us on 0330 122 8803
keep your home heated at a constant 18°C (65°F). on the thermostat not a timer, You may prefer your main living room to be slightly warmer. Keep your bedroom window closed on a winter’s night. Breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections and colds.
We have included some ways to keep you warm and safe over winter!
You maybe able to get help!
There are grants, benefits and sources of advice available to make your home more energy efficient, improve your heating or help with bills.
Kent County Council and your local district council may also be able to help with the cost of boiler replacement or insulation through the Warm Homes Scheme.
Warm Home Discount Scheme
You could get £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017 to 2018 under the Warm Home Discount Scheme.
The money isn’t paid to you - it’s a one-off discount on your electricity bill, between September and March.
You may be able to get the discount on your gas bill instead if your supplier provides you with both gas and electricity. Contact your supplier to find out.
The discount won’t affect your Cold Weather Payment or Winter Fuel Payment.
There are 2 ways to qualify for the Warm Home Discount Scheme:
you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit - known as the ‘core group’
you’re on a low income and meet your energy supplier’s criteria for the scheme - known as the ‘broader group’
How you apply for the Warm Home Discount Scheme depends on how you qualify for the discount.
Pre-pay or pay-as-you-go meters
You can still qualify for the discount if you use a pre-pay or pay-as-you-go electricity meter.
Your electricity supplier can tell you how you’ll get the discount if you’re eligible, for example a voucher you can use to top up your meter.
Park (mobile) homes
You apply a different way if you live in a park home. Contact Charis Grants to find out how to apply.
If you get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit
You qualify for the discount if on 9 July 2017 all of the following applied:
your energy supplier was part of the scheme
your name (or your partner’s) was on the bill
you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well)
This is known as being in the ‘core group’.
How to apply using the Guarantee Credit element
You’ll receive a letter by 30 November 2017 telling you how to get the discount if you qualify.
Your letter will say if you need to call a helpline by 31 January 2018 to confirm your details.
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by the end of March 2018.
If you didn’t get a letter
Contact the Warm Home Discount Team if you didn’t get the letter and you think you’re eligible for the ‘core group’.
Warm Home Discount Team Telephone: 0345 603 9439 Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 4:30pm
Warm Home Discount Team Blue Zone, Ground Floor Phase 1 Peel Park Brunel Way Blackpool FY4 5ES
Don’t contact the Warm Home Discount Team if you’re not eligible for the ‘core group’. Check if you’re eligible to apply another way.
If you’re on a low income
You may be able to apply directly to your electricity supplier for help if you don’t get the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit but:
your energy supplier is part of the scheme
you’re on a low income
you get certain means-tested benefits
This is known as being in the ‘broader group’.
To get the discount you’ll need to stay with your supplier until it’s paid.
How to apply
Your electricity supplier decides who can get the discount - check with your supplier to see if you’re eligible and how to apply.
Check with your supplier as early as possible. The number of discounts suppliers can give are limited.
The following suppliers are part of the scheme:
Atlantic - see SSE
Bristol Energy - only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
Fischer Energy - only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
GB Energy - see Co-operative energy
Manweb - see ScottishPower
M&S Energy - see SSE
Our Power - only if you’re eligible for the ‘core group’
Sainsbury’s Energy - see British Gas
Scottish Gas - see British Gas
Scottish Hydro - see SSE
Southern Electric - see SSE
SWALEC - see SSE
Take care of after yourself!
Contact your GP to get your free flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person. NHS Choices provides information about flu. Visit www.nhs.uk/flu to learn more.
Don’t delay in getting treatment for minor winter ailments like colds or sore throats. Visit your local pharmacist for advice on treatment before it gets worse so you can recover quicker.
Layer your clothing whether you are indoors or outside. Wrap a scarf around your mouth to protect your lungs from the cold air.
Wear shoes with a good grip if you need to go outside.
When you’re indoors, try not to sit still for more than an hour or so. Get up, stretch your legs and make yourself a warm drink.
Have your heating and cooking appliances checked by a Gas Safe registered engineer to make sure they are operating safely.
Contact your water and power suppliers to see if you can be on the Priority Services Register, a service for older and disabled people.
Check on older neighbours or relatives to make sure they’re safe and well. Make sure they’re warm enough, especially at night, and have stocks of food and medicines so they don’t need to go out during very cold weather. If you’re worried about an older person, contact a family member, the local council
Stay safe in your home
When the temperature drops care needs to be taken not to increase the risk of having a fire in your home. This can happen with greater use of portable heaters and open fires.
Get more information about keeping your home, family and friends safe
Chimneys and open fires
Getting older or living alone
The most important thing you can do is make sure you have working smoke alarms on every level of your home.
Call Kent Fire & Rescue Service today for your free home safety services - 0800 923 7000 (or email your contact details to firstname.lastname@example.org)