How to keep warm on a budget

Keeping warm and safe this winter

Winter can be a difficult time financially, physically and mentally – especially when many of us are having to stay at home. This year, it’s even more important to ensure we’re keeping safe and warm in our homes.

  • Reducing the temperature on your thermostat by just one degree Celsius can make a difference to your fuel bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, this small change could save you £60 a year while cutting your carbon emissions by 310kg.
  • Older people or those with impaired mobility should set the temperature to at least 16 degrees.
  • Don’t cover radiators or heaters, and don’t block them.
  • Heat only the parts of the home that you need.
  • Stop heat escaping – use a draft excluder under doors, ensure windows are closed and report any repairs that need doing.
  • Have hot drinks regularly and at least one hot meal a day.
  • See our financial tips page if you’re struggling with money.

Radiators and pipes

Make sure your radiators are on and working. If you can’t feel them getting warm, they may need bleeding. You can do this yourself at home with a radiator key. Contact our reception to receive a free radiator key by emailing:

  • If you’re away from home this winter, keep your thermostat to at least 6 degrees, even if you’re away for one day. This will keep your pipes above freezing point, increasing the likelihood of you having heating and hot water when you return.

Flu jab and covid safety

It’s recommended you get the flu vaccine if you’re:

  • at higher risk from coronavirus
  • over 50
  • have certain health conditions
  • are pregnant
  • receive a carer’s allowance or are a main carer for an older or disabled person who may be at risk if you become ill
  • live with someone who’s at high risk from coronavirus (on the NHS shielded patient list)
  • a frontline health or social care worker.

You can get the flu vaccine at:

  • your GP surgery
  • a pharmacy offering the service
  • your midwifery service if you’re pregnant
  • your own home if you’re shielding or can’t get out – contact your GP for more information.

Click here for more information about getting a flu jab.

Look after each other

With more of us having to stay at home because of covid, your neighbours may need more support if the weather gets worse. Follow current guidance on social distancing but check in on those you think may need help. Make sure their heating is working, they’re keeping warm, and are getting the food and supplies they need. If you’re worried about a relative or neighbour, your local council can help.