How to help vulnerable people in freezing conditions

02-03-2018 Back

Last week YES Energy Solutions took part in the Nation’s Biggest Housewarming Challenge to raise awareness of fuel poverty and its damaging impact in our local communities.

The effects of fuel poverty are made worse when temperatures drop to the minus 6 conditions as we have experienced so far in 2018. Often, people in helpless situations find themselves sacrificing human necessities, such as heating their home, to be able to afford to put food on the table. This is simply not acceptable in modern society.

According to The Times, last year alone there was estimated excess winter deaths of 34,400, with Public Health England stating that it was experiencing excess mortality in over-65-year olds. This highlights the vulnerability of elderly people within our community, and the harrowing effects the freezing weather can have.

With this in mind, checking on your elderly neighbours and relatives could literally save a life. Bringing them milk and bread and allowing them to stay in the comfort of their home and not risk slipping in the icy weather could be a huge help.

Another issue faced by low income families and other vulnerable residents could be down to their boiler not functioning properly as a consequence of the weather, meaning their home is cold and uncomfortable.

Calling out an engineer to look at a boiler is often an expense that can not be afforded, but checking these 5 simple steps below such as simply having your thermostat to the right temperature could get your boiler back up and running in no time.

1. Often a Powercut can result in the timer on your boiler resetting, meaning the times you’ve set your heating to come on are out of sync, so check that your timer has not reset itself

2. If your thermostat is set to below 21 degrees, turn it up as this could be the reason for your heating not coming on

3. If your boiler is on a payment meter, have you checked that it’s topped up? It may also be worth double checking that none of the fuses in your fuse box have tripped

4. If your boiler’s pressure gauge shows a reading of one or less, this could indicate the reason for your boiler failure – but don’t worry! It’s usually straight forward to fix this – please check your boiler manual

5. If the steps above don’t help, try resetting your boiler. If your boiler was made pre-2004 then please check your boiler manual on how to relight your pilot light

As well as having a functioning boiler, ensuring your property is properly insulated means that heat generated from your boiler will be trapped inside your home, with less chance of it escaping. This can be vital in helping to cut fuel costs.

If you’re unsure about how well insulated your home is, it might be worth taking our ‘snow loft insulation test’. This is a simple test to check whether the snow is melting from your roof – if it is, this could indicate that heat is escaping through the loft and you could benefit from Loft Insulation.

YES Energy Solutions are concerned with helping residents to reduce fuel costs and those who are vulnerable to finding themselves in fuel poverty. The ‘Nation’s Biggest Housewarming Challenge’ is an event organised by NEA, a national charity who share our goal to alleviate fuel poverty and the effects that climate change can have on residents.

Many organisations took part in the event this year, holding fundraisers to raise money to donate to NEA. Our Bake Off event raised over £100, with all kinds of treats from Goat’s Cheese Muffins and M&M buns, to Chocolate Cheesecake and Butterfly cupcakes.

To find out more, read our article here.