Keeping warm and energy advice

Warming feet by the fire

Get ready for winter

Winter weather and snow can be fun but also bad for our health and wellbeing. However, with some simple precautions and planning, there are lots of things you can do to stay well this winter. To keep up-to-date with the range of home energy support and the impact Covid restrictions may have on these service visits, see the West Sussex Affordable Energy website

The free home energy advisor visits that are usually offered to eligible households in West Sussex are, unfortunately, not able to take place under the Covid-19 restrictions.  However, information and advice is still available by telephone. To find out what support is available in your area, use the links to the West Sussex Affordable Energy website below:

Stay well

  • Get your FREE flu jab: the flu virus is active in winter and it can be far more serious than you think.  Contact your GP, practice nurse or pharmacist to book an appointment.
  • Eat well: regular hot meals and drinks will keep you warm.  Stock up on tinned or frozen foods.  Get it delivered if you can, so you don’t have to go out when it’s cold or icy.
  • If you feel unwell: act quickly and don’t wait for it to get worse.  Speak to your pharmacist, as they are fully qualified to advise you on the best course of action.

Stay warm

  • Keep your home warm: heat your home to at least 18⁰C (65⁰F).  Keeping warm can help to prevent colds, flu and more serious health problems such as heart attacks, strokes, pneumonia and depression.
  • Keep moving and wrap up: any activity, even cleaning, gets the circulation going and makes you feel warmer.  Wear multiple layers of clothing indoors and out.
  • Get your heating system checked: make sure it is working safely and efficiently. Ensure you have working smoke alarms and BS EN50291 Standard carbon monoxide alarms in your home. For more information about carbon monoxide poisoning and how to avoid it visit the Gas Safe website.
  • Order winter fuel in advance:  check pipes are lagged and know where to turn off your water.
  • See the NHS website for information about staying warm in winter.

Stay thrifty

  • Warm Home Discount: if your household is on a low income you could receive £140 off your energy bill – contact your electricity supplier today to find out if you are eligible.
  • Don’t pay more than you need to: make sure you are getting the best deal from your energy supplier, or consider switching to another one.  You could save around £200 per year. 
  • Don't let heat escape: you could qualify for help towards a new heating system or insulation. If you are eligible, funding is currently available for:
    • Heating - providing energy efficient replacements for broken or inefficient boilers or electric storage heaters.
    • Loft insulation – insulating a loft with no insulation, or a ‘top-up’ where the current amount of insulation does not meet modern building standards.
    • Cavity wall insulation – insulating homes without existing cavity wall insulation.
  • Trouble paying your energy bills: talk to your supplier first to discuss how to pay what you can afford.  Citizens Advice and other local organisations can also help. 
  • If you’re over 65, living in a cold home or have a long term health condition you may be eligible for the Age UK’s Warm Home service. It can help increase your income to pay for energy bills and help make your home more energy efficient. Find out more on the Age UK website.
  • See the Government website for help with heating your home.

Stay in Touch

  • Look out for your neighbours or relatives (by phone, social media etc): make sure they are safe, warm and well.
  • Keep a list of useful numbers and emergency contacts. If you have a power cut call 105, see the Power cut 105 website.  They will put you through to your local network operator who can give you help and advice.

A number of local organisations can provide advice on changing energy tariffs, energy debt or accessing help and grants. Details of these organisations can be found on the West Sussex Affordable Energy website

coldAlert

coldAlert is a free service for residents of Sussex providing cold weather alerts to vulnerable individuals. Once registered for the service you will receive a coldAlert when the normal winter conditions change and colder weather is forecast.  This allows you to prepare by making sure that you have enough food and medicines in the cupboard and your home is adequately heated.  For more information visit the coldAlert website.

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