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Warm and healthy homes – presentation for over 50s April 26

* What we are going to talk about:-

* How to pay for the rising cost of energy

* A campaigning action to help everybody else survive the gas price crisis

* How to lose less heat from your home

* How to make your appliances use less gas and electricity

* Health, heat and homes; some other tips

How to pay for the rising cost of energy

It’s cheaper on direct debit than any other way to pay

Don’t change suppliers at the moment if you can help it, and the best tariff is the standard ‘default’ tariff that can go up or down – fixed price ones are bad value at present.

Households in England, Wales and Scotland are to get up to £350 of Government support to soften the blow of rocketing energy prices. This includes: 


A £200 rebate loan in October 2022 to all households. You’ll get an automatic £200 discount on your bills, regardless of what tariff you’re on. And from April 2023 you’ll have a £40/year levy added to bills to effectively repay the discount.

A £150 council tax rebate in April to all households in England, Scotland and Wales for those in bands A to D. If you pay your council tax by direct debit, you probably had a letter from the council to say you will be paid it automatically through your bank this month. Households who do not pay Council Tax because they get full Council Tax support or some Council Tax exemptions will also qualify. If you don’t pay by direct debit,  you will get the money anyway. They are sending out letters to everyone who qualifies in April and May with a voucher which you can cash in at any UK Post Office. You will need to take your voucher and your ID, or you can ask for a bank payment instead.      

Make sure you claim Pension Credit if you are entitled. That is, if your total income is less than around £200 per week and your savings under £10,000 . Do it in good time for next autumn. Then you can get the Cold Weather Payment, Warm Homes Discount AND:-
The Mayor of London’s Warmer Homes programme provides free heating, insulation and ventilation improvements for low-income Londoners who own their own homes or rent privately.

The Mayor of London will provide a maximum of £5,500 per home to low income Londoners for energy efficiency improvement, subject to eligibility and availability of funding. This can cover heating system improvements or repairs, improved heating controls, insulation and/or draught-proofing. Pension credit claimants are eligible, and for some of the funding, anyone with a household income of £20,000 or less after income tax, national insurance and rent or mortgage costs. Private landlords can apply for an eligible tenant but social housing is not eligible. You can apply online at https://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/housing-and-land/improving-quality/warmer-homes/you-apply

Or you can get help with your application from SHINE – the appointed energy adviser working with Haringey Council:-

Call in SHINE to give you more advice on 0300 555 0195

SHINE can assess residents for a range of services to improve health, finances, and energy efficiency. 

Email
contact@shine-london.org.uk

Or you could try the Warmer Homes team at the GLA on telephone number: 0800 029 3576 or email: enquiries@warmerhomeslondon.com.

Details about pension credit:-

You can get Pension Credit if:

  • your weekly income to £182.60 if you’re single
  • your joint weekly income to £278.70 if you have a partner
  • and your savings are less than £10,000 per year (with some exceptions, see below)

If your income is higher, you might still be eligible for Pension Credit if you have a disability, you care for someone, you have savings or you have housing costs.

How to apply:

Phone the Pension Service on 0800 99 1234.  You can backdate it for three months.

Lots of people who could get it don’t claim . They lose out on council tax reduction, help with energy, free TV licence, free dental treatment, free spectacles and free hospital transport.

* A campaigning action to help everybody else survive the gas price crisis

Spread the news – tell your friends about all this. Get cracking on energy saving now whilst the sun shines and we all feel more energetic and able to sort things like DIY jobs in chilly parts of the home, as well as contacting services.

– Lots of people will get into serious debt over energy costs now.

Fuel Poverty Action have launched a campaign about this. They say:-

Diane Skidmore started this petition to Boris Johnson (Prime Minister)

Energy bills have risen dramatically in the last year – and the price cap is now to increase by 54% in April. This rise will leave millions of people like me struggling with cold homes. Many of us are facing damp, ill health, darkness, hunger and misery. Before the pandemic and the price increase around 10,000 people died each winter in the UK’s cold homes. Now even more will die.  

I’m a pensioner living on a council estate in south London, and even before the recent price increases it was a struggle for me and my neighbours to keep warm. I am asthmatic, and many of us have health problems, as well as problems with our housing conditions. My grandchildren don’t even visit me because my house is too cold. I’ve been working with Fuel Poverty Action for more than ten years now. There are too many people who cannot afford or struggle to keep warm.

To end this outrage, Fuel Poverty Action is calling for #EnergyForAll.

#EnergyForAll means giving everyone a free amount of energy – that is enough energy, free, to cover the basics like heating, cooking, and lighting – to give us all the security we need, taking account of people’s actual needs related to their age, health, and housing. To pay for this new pricing system, Energy for All, we’re urging the Government to introduce a Windfall Tax on the profits of oil and gas producers, traders and suppliers, and to STOP  subsidising fossil fuels with millions of pounds every day. 

The UK is a wealthy nation, with many billionaires – now more than ever due to fortunes made in the pandemic. Many companies, including energy companies, are clocking up exceptional profits – while we struggle to pay the prices they are charging.  

No one should get ill or die because of cold homes. No one should spend days in libraries or shopping centres to keep warm. Every home should be well repaired and insulated so we don’t need so much energy in the first place. We need your help to stop the outrage of fuel poverty – please sign and share this petition!

The government says we will get £200 back – but that will be a loan which we’ll have to repay in future bills. I have no idea where that money will come from in the future. They also say most people will get an extra £150 – very welcome, but far from enough.  From April, many will see an increase of around £700 per year – more if your home is poorly insulated, or if you are on a prepayment meter, like many people on low incomes. 

Instead of filling the pockets of fossil fuel companies, taxpayers’ money should be used to make sure everyone can keep warm. And the pricing system should be fair. 

At present, we pay more per unit of gas or electricity if we use less of it. At present, we pay a high standing charge even when we use very little energy, or none at all.   Our new pricing system, Energy for All,  would eliminate that injustice and turn pricing right side up. 

You can sign this petition online at https://www.change.org/p/energyforall-everyone-has-a-right-to-the-energy-needed-for-heating-cooking-and-light?signed=true

Shall we sign as a group?

How to lose less heat from your home

Where does your home lose heat?

Out of the heat you lose from your home, you actually lose about 35% through the walls, about 25% through the roof, and only about 10% through the windows. That adds up to only 70% – most of the rest is through DRAUGHTS.

  • Get rid of draughts – around doors, windows, letter box, and the gap between the skirting board and the floor. It’s an easy DIY job.

What else?

Insulation involves expensive measures, low cost and DIY measures, and a few things in between.

Expensive items are wall insulation (inside or outside) and double glazing – several thousand

Loft insulation – materials only around £5 to £6 per square metre, say under £300 for material but add 2 days labour at £200 per day, so £700

  • Fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to keep frequently visited rooms warm whilst turning off radiators in rooms that aren’t being used
  • Insulate your hot water pipes to stop heat escaping
  • Fit your hot water tank with an insulating jacket. Using one that’s at least 75mm (three inches) thick could save you around £30 a year. Cost is around £12!
  • Fix shelves above radiators to deflect warm air into the room

Low-cost or no cost tips (in addition to draught-proofing)

  • Look for energy efficient alternatives for your lighting – replace any old fashioned light bulbs with LED ones
  • Put aluminium foil behind radiators against outside walls to reduce the amount of heat escaping (kitchen foil can be wrapped around a piece of cardboard to squeeze it down the gap easily)
  • Heavy curtains
  • Shift your sofa away from any radiators – heat the room not the sofa
  • Keep internal doors closed to reduce draughts

Call in SHINE to give you more advice

SHINE can assess residents for a range of services to improve health, finances, and energy efficiency. 

Phone
0300 555 0195

Email
contact@shine-london.org.uk

.

* How to make your appliances use less gas and electricity

  • Conserve energy by not leaving electrical items on standby. Prevent further wastage by not keeping laptops and mobile phones charging unnecessarily
  • Take a  shower rather than a bath – showers use a lot less hot water
  • Avoid cleaning your teeth or plates under a running hot tap
  • Wash your clothes at 30°C, with a full load each time
  • Only fill your kettle with as much water as you need
  • Don’t heat hot water when you don’t need it, if you have a tank. The best temperature is 60°C – hot enough to kill germs, but not to waste energy
  • Use your oven for several things at a time, not just one dish or one meal
  • Better still, if what you’re cooking is suitable for it, use your microwave or a slow cooker rather than an electric oven – ovens cost a lot to run.
  • Put your washing outside to dry, or in a ventilated room – avoid tumbler dryers
  • Defrost your freezer whenever it builds up ice. Keep it full – add a bottle of tap water to provide a ‘reserve’ of ice that helps keep it cold when you open the door.
  • It’s generally cheaper to turn on gas central heating than to heat one room with electricity
  • Turning down your thermostat by only 1°C could reduce your heating bills by up to 10%
  • Turn  radiators off or very low in rooms you are not using – you might vary this day by day or even different times of day
  • Use thermostat and timers on your central heating controls wisely – turn off the heating system when you are out or don’t need it

How much money could you save?  See http://energysavingtrust.org.uk/hub/quick-tips-to-save-energy/

If you do all these things, potentially several hundred pounds a year.

* Health, heat and homes; some other tips

– You must keep warm enough not to get sick – if you feel you need 23 degrees even with 2 jumpers and a rug on your knees, maybe you just do.

– But moving about even indoors helps to keep warm. Do your exercises!

– My friend’s physio told her that hot water bottles actually help healing of hurt backs or muscles, because they help to improve the blood flow to the place they touch.

– You are more likely to fall if you are cold

– So wear sensible high-grip slippers indoors

– Check carpets and rugs can’t slip or trip you

– Always hold the handrail on stairs and make sure it’s secure on the wall

– It may be safer and easier to carry heavy things downstairs by doing backwards with the object (e.g. suitcase, waste bin) upstairs of you, so you can bump it from step to step easily

Ofgem is Great Britain’s Independent Energy Regulator working with Government, Industry and Consumer Groups

The energy price cap will increase from 1 April for approximately 22 million customers

Record increase in global gas prices sees energy price cap rise of 54%. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.

Customers struggling to pay their energy bills should contact their supplier to access the help available.

Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.

You can ask for:

 a review of your payments and debt repayments

 payment breaks or reductions

 more time to pay

 access to hardship funds

 advice on how to use less energy

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Each energy supplier keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it.

3. You are eligible if you:

o have reached your state pension age

o are disabled or have a long-term medical condition

o are recovering from an injury

o have a hearing or sight condition

o have a mental health condition

1. are pregnant or have young children

2. have extra communication needs (such as if you don’t speak or read English well).

You might still be able to register for other reasons if your situation isn’t listed. For example, if you need short-term support after a stay in hospital.

How to register

Give them your contact details and as much information as you can about your needs.

Your supplier can pass your details to your network operator to add you to their register too. It’s a good idea to ask them to do this if you rely on your energy supply for medical reasons.

If you have a different supplier for your gas and electricity, you need to contact them both.

You’ll need to register again with any new supplier if you switch supplier.

Record increase in global gas prices sees energy price cap rise of 54%. Those on default tariffs paying by direct debit will see an increase of £693 from £1,277 to £1,971 per year (difference due to rounding). Prepayment customers will see an increase of £708 from £1,309 to £2,017.

Customers struggling to pay their energy bills should contact their supplier to access the help available.

Suppliers must work with you to agree on a payment plan you can afford under Ofgem rules. This includes reviewing a plan you have agreed before.

You can ask for:

 a review of your payments and debt repayments

 payment breaks or reductions

 more time to pay

 access to hardship funds

 advice on how to use less energy

The Priority Services Register is a free support service to help people in vulnerable situations. Each energy supplier keeps their own register. You need to contact your energy supplier or network operator to get on it.

3. You are eligible if you:

o have reached your state pension age

o are disabled or have a long-term medical condition

o are recovering from an injury

o have a hearing or sight condition

o have a mental health condition

Ofgem is Great Britain’s Independent Energy Regulator working with Government, Industry and Consumer Groups

The energy price cap will increase from 1 April for approximately 22 million customers