Helping you stay warm and well
Winter weather can have dramatic effects on everyday life, especially for those who are already vulnerable because of age, illness or disability. Local radio, TV and websites can keep you posted on weather, but it’s important to prepare for bad conditions and keep warm and well.
Support is available to make homes energy efficient, improve heating or help with bills. If you’re struggling to pay energy bills, help is available.
Contact your energy supplier in the first instance, as they may be able to offer you a special tariff or payment plan to help you stay on top of bills.
Winter Fuel Payment
If you were born before 5 August 1953, you should receive a Winter Fuel Payment of between £100 and £300 depending on your circumstances. These payments are usually paid automatically with your State Pension or other benefits during November and December but if you don't receive it you can apply. Call 0345 915 1515 (textphone 0345 606 0285) or visit the Winter Fuel Payment page on the GOV.UK website (external link) for more information.
If the insulation in your loft is not 300mm (12 inches) thick you could be losing a large amount of heat through the roof of your property. Some energy suppliers offer free insulation to eligible households.
If you think your loft does need insulating please contact The Affordable Warmth Team on 020 8489 3489 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Warm Home Discount
For the winter of 2018/19 you could receive a discount of £140 off your electricity bill through this scheme. You qualify for this discount if on the ‘qualifying day’ in July your supplier was part of the scheme, your name was on the bill and you were getting the Guarantee Credit element of Pension Credit (even if you get Savings Credit as well).
If you meet the criteria outlined above you should receive a letter by 30 November 2018 telling you how to get the discount if you qualify.
Your letter will say if you need to call a helpline by 31 January 2019 to confirm your details.
Your electricity supplier will apply the discount to your bill by the end of March 2019.
If you do not receive your letter and you think that you qualify please contact the helpline on 0845 603 9439
Some suppliers also offer this discount to vulnerable households in receipt of benefits and/or on low incomes. Each supplier has their own rules and so you will need to contact the supplier directly. These schemes work on a first come first served and even if you have received the discount previously, you'll need to apply again for future schemes. To see if your supplier is part of the scheme and to contact them with a view to making a claim please see GOV.UK's Warm Home Discount page (external link) for more information.
The deadline to claim is the end of February and claims made after this date will not be accepted.
Cold Weather Payment
Help for people in receipt of certain benefits to cover extra heating costs if the temperature drops below freezing seven days in a row. Contact Wood Green or Tottenham Jobcentre Plus or visit the Cold Weather Payment page on the GOV.UK website (external link) for more information.
Haringey has partnered with SHINE London to provide a one-stop referral service for vulnerable residents for a range of services to improve health, finances and energy efficiency. It aims to help residents keep warm and well and reduce the anxiety around paying fuel bills.
SHINE London is targeted at those aged over 65, low income families with children under 15, disabled people and people with respiratory and cardiovascular conditions - but anyone who thinks that they need help can make contact. To make a referral visit the SHINE website (external link), call 0300 555 0195 or email email@example.com.
Haringey Citizens Advice Bureau
Advice on benefits, heating, grants and debt. Call 0300 330 1187 for the advice line (Weekdays 10am-1pm and 2-4pm). They will conduct a gateway assessment on the phone, and may offer a pre-booked appointment.
CAB Open-door advice sessions
- Tottenham, 551B High Road, N17 6SB
Tuesday, Thursday from 10am to 12 noon and 2pm to 4pm.
If you have a query that is not answered above, or just want more information about any of the services available please contact the Affordable Warmth Team at Haringey Council on 020 8489 3489 or by email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tips for keeping warm and well
- Get a free flu jab if you are aged 65 or over, pregnant, have certain medical conditions, live in a residential or nursing home, or are the main carer for an older or disabled person
- By setting your heating to 18-21°C (65-70°F), you can keep your home warm and bills as low as possible
- Look after yourself and check on older neighbours or relatives. Layer your clothing and wear shoes with a good grip
- Have hot meals and drinks throughout the day and keep active