Top tips for winter

Bertie’s top 10 tips for a warmer, healthier home

Affordable warmth is a household’s ability to heat their home to a minimum standard. This is recommended to be 18 - 21oC, without incurring fuel debt as result.

Calderdale Council is committed to helping lower-income households make their homes healthier, warmer and cheaper to heat. We have a range of heating and insulation schemes for residents who own or privately rent their own homes. Please note: You will need written permission from your landlord, if the property is privately rented.

Click on an image to see details of that tip.

Insulate your loft or attic bedroom
Insulate you wall cavities
Repair your gas boiler with a council grant
Replace your boiler and or central heating system
Apply for warmth on prescription
Switch your energy supplier for a cheaper deal
Keep warm at home
Draught proofing
Winter payments
Renewable

 

Tip #1 Insulate your loft or attic bedroom

Do you have a standard loft with less than 100mm (4 inches) of loft insulation?

It is worth topping this up to the recommended 270mm (11 inches). The work can be fully grant funded, up to a maximum of £500. This applies If you are in any of the following groups:

  • lower income households (total income less than £21,000 per year);
  • residents over 60 years old;
  • households in receipt of qualifying benefits.

If your home has an attic bedroom, this can also be insulated through the Better Homes Scheme: Calderdale .

Grants are available for the above qualifying households to cover all or part of the cost. Interest-free loans are available to fund the balance.

For more details and to arrange a no-obligation survey, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire .

You can also phone: 0808 120 5475 (free from a UK Landline) or 0113 350 6982 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

 

Tip #2 Insulate your home’s cavity walls

Does your home have standard cavity walls?

They can be insulated with fibre or polybead insulation to significantly reduce heat loss. The work can be fully grant funded, up to a maximum of £1,000. This applies If you are in any of the following groups:

  • lower income households (total income less than £21,000 per year);
  • residents over 60 years old;
  • households in receipt of qualifying benefits.

Properties with narrow stone cavities (less than 40mm) can be suitable for a closed-cell polyurethane (pur) foam cavity wall insulation.

Certain pur foam products can be guaranteed for homes in flood risk areas as they have waterproof qualities. Although, it is more expensive than standard insulation.

Grants are available for the above qualifying households to cover all or part of the cost. Interest-free loans are available to fund the balance.

For more details and to arrange a no-obligation survey, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire .

You can also phone: 0808 120 5475 (free from a UK Landline) or 0113 350 6982 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

 

Tip #3 Repair your gas boiler with a council grant

Has your boiler broken down and you own your home?

Small repair grants are available for households with low income and those in receipt of the qualifying benefits. Note: We can supply a temporary electric radiator if you have no working heating in your own home. For details contact:

 

Has your heating broken down and you privately rent your home?

You should contact your landlord to arrange for this to be repaired. If your landlord does not carry out the repair within a reasonable timescale, contact:

 

Tip #4 Replace your boiler and / or heating system

Do you need to replace your boiler?

A modern energy efficient version could save you up to £350 per year on your heating costs. We have £500 boiler scrappage grants available to replace old, inefficient boilers that are E, F or G rated.

Do you currently heat your home with electric or solid fuel heating?

We can help arrange for a gas connection. We offer a grant of up to £1,000 for a new gas central heating system, if you receive qualifying benefits.

For more details and to arrange a no-obligation survey, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire .

You can also phone: 0808 120 5475 (free from a UK Landline) or 0113 350 6982 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

 

Tip #5 Apply for ‘warmth on prescription’

Are you an owner-occupiers with long-term chronic health condition and getting qualifying benefits, or on a low household income?

Grants of up to 50% (to a maximum £3,000) 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 is:

  • 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.

Ask your GP Practice or health professional (Practice Nurse, Health Visitor, social worker) to refer you into the scheme. We need emailed or written confirmation from them, which says you have a health condition affected by the cold. For more details, please contact:

 

For more details and to arrange a no-obligation survey, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire .

You can also phone: 0808 120 5475 (free from a UK Landline) or 0113 350 6982 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

 

Tip #6 Switch your energy supplier for a cheaper deal

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

You may be able to get a better deal and save money! Contact your current supplier and asking them to put you on a cheaper tariff.

You can save more money by changing your energy supplier or tariff when any preferential deal ends.

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 changing 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 #7 Keep warm at home

There are other things you can do to stay warm at home:

  • Try and keep your main living room and bedroom heated to at least 18oC. Use a room thermometer to make sure you are not under or over-heating.
  • Keep mobile and active round your home, if possible. Sitting for long periods in cold homes can cause joints and muscles to stiffen. This increases the chance of a trip or fall.
  • Layer up with thin layers of clothing made of cotton, wool or fleecy fibres. This traps heat better than one thick layer.
  • To prevent slips, trips and falls, wear good fitting slippers with a good grip inside your home. When outdoors, wear winter shoes or boots with a good grip.
  • Use a thermostat and timer on your heating system to warm the house, before you get up. Do not forget to change this when the clocks go back or forward.
  • If it is too expensive to heat all your home, heat the room you mainly use in the day. Warm your bedroom, just before you go to bed.
  • Get your heating system and cooker serviced and safety checked once a year in summer. This is to ensure they are safe to use, working efficiently and ready for the winter.
  • Draw curtains at dusk and tuck them behind radiators to help keep the heat in. Do not block or cover your radiators with curtains or furniture.
  • Keep your bedroom windows closed on wintery nights. Breathing cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
  • Keeping your bedroom temperature at 18oC overnight is good for your health. This is true if you have an health condition made worse by the cold, or are over 65 years old.
  • Ensure you regularly have hot drinks and meals throughout the day. Stock up on tinned and frozen foods. This is so you do not have to go out too much when it is cold or icy.
  • Are you on a low income, or have a disability? Contact your energy supplier to apply for their Priority Services Register . This is for peace of mind about your energy supply and access to other services which may be helpful.
  • Check on frail or older relatives and neighbours. Using the advice here and all the top tips can help you to help them.

 

Tip #8 Fit draught proofing to doors and windows that let cold air in

Do you have a draughty home?

Fitting draught proofing around doors and windows can help to keep the heat in your home.

The Council’s Handyperson Service has small grants to fit draught proofing for residents who are:

  • on low income;
  • in receipt of qualifying benefits;
  • or people over 60 years of age who own or rent their own homes.

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

For more details, contact:

 

Tip #9 Check your eligibility for winter fuel and cold weather payments

Are you eligible for winter fuel and cold weather payments?

For details and guidance, visit: A to Z - Heating and housing benefits (Gov.uk).

Winter Fuel Payments

To be eligible for 2017/8, you need to have been born on, or before, 5th August 1953. You could receive £100 to £300 to help pay your heating bills.

You should receive the winter fuel payment automatically, If:

  • you receive the state pension;
  • or you get another social security benefit (NOT Housing Benefit, Council Tax Reduction, Child Benefit or Universal Credit).

If you are eligible, but do not get paid automatically, you will need to make a claim. For more details, please visit: A to Z - Heating and housing benefits (Gov.uk).

If this is the first year you can claim, or you have not claimed before, phone: 0345 915 1515. This is the Winter Fuel Payment helpline.

Cold Weather Payments

Cold Weather Payments are different to Winter Fuel Payments. You may get a Cold Weather Payment if you are getting certain benefits .

You will get a payment, if the average temperature in your area is recorded as, or forecast to be:

  • 0oC or below for seven consecutive days.

You will get a payment of £25 for each seven day period. This is for very cold weather, between 1st November and 31st March.

 

For more details, please visit: Cold weather payment (Gov.uk).

 

Tip #10 Install renewable energy in your home

Have you considered installing solar panels and heat pumps?

These are available with equity loan finance for households on low incomes, or those in receipt of qualifying benefits.

Solar panels are available for both private rented and owner occupied homes, subject to funding and survey.

Heat pumps for homes off the gas network are available with 100% equity loan funding. These are for those who are currently using solid fuel or electric heating. There is a maximum £10,000 loan for owner-occupiers and private landlords. Exceptions may be considered for ground source heat pumps.

To qualify:

  • the occupants must have lived in the property as their main residence for at least 6 months;
  • the home must not be financially viable to connect to the gas network;
  • one of the main residents must be in receipt of qualifying benefits, or on a low income.

Note: All work is subject to survey and available funding.

For more details and to arrange a no-obligation survey, visit: Better Homes Yorkshire .

You can also phone: 0808 120 5475 (free from a UK Landline) or 0113 350 6982 (local or mobile call charges may apply).

 

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