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Keeping Warm at Home

  • If you are over 65, or have a health problem, heat your home to at least 18°C to keep warm.
  • Make sure that you have some warm slippers or shoes that have a good grip. Try to keep your feet up as the air is cooler at ground level.
  • Put on several warm, light layers of clothing which will keep you warmer than one thick layer. Have hot drinks, use a hot water bottle and if you're sitting down, put a blanket over you.
  • Keep moving – avoid sitting down for long periods as muscles become stiff and slow when they are cold. Even housework will generate body heat and help to keep you warm.


Mor information on keeping warm in winter is available in Age UK's Winter Wrapped Up guide.


The Government's Get Ready for Winter web pages, hosted by the Met Office, are now online to provide help and advice about how to prepare and stay safe this winter.


A Guide to Keeping Warm has been produced as part of the Falls Prevention Tips leaflet series.


The Keep Warm Keep Well booklet, produced by the Department of Health, in association with other partners, aims to help you maintain good health during winter and take advantage of the financial help and benefits available.


Affordable Warmth Strategy

Bedford Borough Council is committed to reducing fuel poverty and has developed an Affordable Warmth Strategy 2013-16 and Action Plan 2015-16 to address fuel poverty across in the Borough, improve health and well-being and increase energy conservation, reducing carbon emissions. It comprises initiatives, working in partnership with local community organisations, to reduce households’ energy costs and increase households’ income and raise awareness of other help which is available.


Help and Support Available:

There are a number of schemes designed to provide support, including money off energy bills and assistance with central heating and insulation to reduce energy consumption and reduce energy bills to save money:


Priority Services Register

If you are a pensioner, have long-term ill health, are registered disabled or have a hearing or visual impairment, you may be eligible for extra help offered by energy suppliers. One service is the Priority Services Register. For more information you can view Citizens Advice Bureau's page on the Priority Services Register. To ensure you receive additional services, you need to sign up to your supplier’s Priority Services Register. If you have different suppliers for electricity and gas, you will need to register with each. If you have a carer, they can register on your behalf. There is no charge and you can register for all or some of the services. Ofgem leaflet: How to get help if you need it.


Warm Home Discount

For winter 2015 to 2016, you may qualify for a £140 discount on your electricity bill through the Warm Home Discount Scheme.


Winter Fuel Payment

These are annual payments for pensioners, usually made automatically, for £100 to £300.  If you qualify, but don't get paid automatically, you may need to make a claim.


Energy Company Obligation (ECO)

If you are in receipt of certain income-related benefits and own or privately rent your home, you might be able to get help for energy-saving improvements such as insulation and a new boiler through the Energy Companies Obligation (ECO). Quick guide to ECO: Get Help to Keep Your Home Warm - Energy Company Obligation


The British Gas Energy Trust

The British Gas Energy Trust is a registered charity, operating since 2004, to help individuals and families in poverty, suffering or other distress who are struggling to pay their gas and/or electricity debts.

The Trust helps by giving grants to:

  • Clear gas and electricity debts.
  • Clear other priority household debts or purchase essential household items. These payments are known as Further Assistance Payments (FAPs).

The aim of the Trust is to give vulnerable individuals and families a fresh start and enable them to remain debt free.
Anyone seeking help from the Trust must fill in the Trust’s standard application form. All applicants are advised to seek appropriate money/debt advice before applying to increase their chance of a successful application.


Safe, Healthy and Well

Safe, Healthy and Well is a one-stop information leaflet which brings together existing services offered by Bedford Borough Council, and other organisations to help residents of Bedford Borough keep safe, healthy and well during the winter months.


Further Information:

Information on how to use your energy more efficiently: Energy Efficiency

Information on insulation and schemes available: Home Insulation

Information on how to reduce your energy bills: Reducing Energy Bills


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