TIPS: Keeping Warm Part 2

More tips from Calderdale Council on keeping warm this winter:

Tip 6 – Apply for warmth on prescription

Are you an owner-occupier OR a tenant in private rented home with a long-term or chronic health condition made significantly worse by living in a cold home?

If you receive a qualifying benefit, or are on a low household income, you may be able to apply for a ‘warmth on prescription’ grant.

Grants of up to 50% (to a maximum £5,000) are available for the cost of heating and insulation. Interest-free loans are available to fund the balance of the cost. Work that can be carried out with this grant includes:

  • a new gas central heating boiler, if the existing boiler cannot be repaired;
  • a new gas central heating system, for properties on electric heating or solid fuel;
  • standard loft and cavity wall insulation;
  • non-standard insulation, such as solid wall insulation or polyurethane foam.

Note: All the work is subject to survey and available funding. If you privately rent your home, you must provide written consent from your landlord with your application to authorise the works.

Ask your GP Practice or health professional (Practice Nurse, Health Visitor, social worker) to refer you into the scheme. As well as proof of benefits, or details of low income, we just need a very short referral in writing or by email from a health professional which clearly states your health conditions and confirmation that they are made significantly worse by living in a cold home.

To apply for the scheme, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire to request a no-obligation survey and quotation for the works required.

Or contact Better Homes on telephone:

0800 597 1500 (free from a UK Landline) or

0113 897 0977 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

Once you receive the Better Homes quote, please complete the PDFEnquiry Form [PDF 199KB] and email or post it back to our email address below with a copy of the quote, details of your benefits and referral from your health professional.

For more details, please contact:

Tip 7 – Switch your energy supplier for a cheaper deal

Have you reviewed your gas and electricity tariff in the last 2 or 3 years?

If your previous deal has finished, and you are on your supplier’s standard variable rate deal, you may be able to get a better deal and save money.

You can either:

  1. Contact your current supplier and ask if they have any better deals that would save you money, or
  2. Shop around with other suppliers to try and find a cheaper deal.

White Rose Energy is Calderdale Council’s preferred ‘not for profit’ energy supply company. If you have a pre-payment meter, you may still be able to change to White Rose Energy. This service is available for all residents in privately owned, rented or social housing.

Before you start shopping around to change your energy supply, you should have details available about:

  • how much energy you use per month; or
  • how much you spend per month on your heating and energy costs.

For more details, contact:

Tip 8 – Fit a smart meter

Smart meters put consumers in control of their energy use, allowing them to adopt energy efficiency measures that can help save money on their energy bills and offset price increases.

Smart meters are the next generation of gas and electricity meters and offer a range of intelligent functions.

For example, they can tell you how much energy you are using through an In Home Display (IHD). They communicate directly with your energy supplier, meaning you will get accurate bills, and there will be no need for your energy supplier to visit your home to read your meter in future.

Benefits of smart meters

Smart meters bring a wide range of benefits. For example:

  • smart meters give you near real time information on energy use – expressed in pounds and pence.
  • you will be able to better manage your energy use, save money and reduce emissions.
  • smart meters will bring an end to estimated billing – you will only be billed for the energy you actually use, helping you budget better.
  • in time, smart meters will make switching supplier smoother and faster, making it easier to get the best deals.

You will not be charged separately for a smart meter or for the In-Home Display. Under current arrangements you pay for the cost of your meter and its maintenance through your energy bills, and this will be the same for smart meters.

Benefits for prepayment customers

Smart meters can work in prepayment or credit mode. Prepayment customers will see some particular benefits from having a smart meter. For example:

  • your energy supplier may be able to offer you new and more flexible ways of topping up your meter that don’t require you to visit a shop.
  • you’ll be able to see your balance on your easy-to-access In Home Display, so you don’t unknowingly run out of credit.
  • your smart meter can be set to top up automatically, so that if you do run out of credit at night or when the shops are shut you won’t be left without power.

Further information on the benefits of smart meters, what they are and how they work, is available on the  Smart Energy GB website .

Tip 9 – Fit draught proofing and radiator reflector panels

Fitting draught proofing to get rid of cold draughts around leaky wooden external and cellar doors and windows will make your home feel much warmer and comfortable.

Radiator reflector panels behind radiators can also stop heat being ‘lost’ to the wall by reflecting it back up into the room.

Small grants are available for to fit draught proofing and radiator panels for residents in owner occupied, private rented or social rented homes who are in ANY of the following groups:

  • On a low income of less than £21,000 per year and savings of less than £16,000;
  • In receipt of qualifying benefits; or
  • Over 60 years old.

If you do not qualify to have the work done free of charge, it can still be done for a small fee to cover the cost of materials and the Handyperson’s time.

For details and to arrange the work, contact:

Tip 10 – Claim additional funding to help you with your energy costs

Warm Homes Discount Scheme – This is a credit paid on to your electricity bill once a year if you qualify.

Winter Fuel Payments – This is a payment to help with heating costs for people over a certain age. It is usually paid automatically to people who qualify, but it is worth checking the criteria and making a claim if not.

Cold Weather Payments – These are different from the Warm Homes Discount Scheme and Winter Fuel Payments and may be paid by the government in times of persistent cold weather.

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