Stay warm in winter!

Posted on: 30 November 2011 by Alexander Hay

Examining the range of benefits, grants and schemes to help you keep your home heated this winter

Yes, it's going to be cold...As winter approaches, and we all remember how cold it was last year, it makes sense to find the right way to keep our homes warm over the common months.

As it happens, there is a lot of government help available. Take the Cold Weather Payments, which are available until the end of March 2012 and are worth £25 a week. These are paid automatically into your account if you are eligible, as most pensioners including those on Pension Credit. The payments kick in whenever there are forecasts of 7 days of cold weather in a row.

There is also old faithful, which in this case is the Winter Fuel Payment. This one-off payment is worth £200 for everyone over the age of £60 and £300 for those over 80, depending on assessment.

But what if you are not eligible for these benefits? Wearing gloves, a woolly jumper and the tea cosy isn't for everyone, so the next best thing is to work out how to keep your house warm.

Start with the obvious things. Keep all your doors closed and use draught excluders to ensure your house stays warm. If you haven't got double glazing, make sure the windows are kept closed whenever possible. Exercise, whenever possible, also helps you keep warm and stay fit too.

Finally, insulation is an ideal way to keep heat indoors. Did you know that the typical house loses a quarter of its heat through the roof and over a third through the walls? Insulating your loft can save up to £175 a year in heating bills, and keep out the cold to boot.

And it's never been easier to insulate your house. Many people do it themselves, but the government also provides free home insulation grants for lofts and wall cavities. Only those over 70 are eligible, however, so enquire with your local utility company and see what home insulation scheme is available to you.

Many thanks to ThinkInsulation.com for its help in researching this article. For more advice on keeping warm this winter, go to their web site HERE.

 

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Alexander Hay

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