The cold can have an immense impact on someone’s life; a warm home is crucial for keeping people healthy but many Hertfordshire residents struggle to stay warm in their home. Homes which are properly insulated with cavity or solid wall and loft insulation are cheaper and easier to heat and stay warm longer. Even simple energy efficiency measures such as draught proofing and radiator reflectors can make a difference.
Ideally older people, those with very young children and those in poor health are recommended to heat their living room to 21°C during the day and the bedroom to 18°C at night, however anxiety about fuel bills can often deter people from doing this.
The Keep Warm Stay Well campaign can be a lifeline for these people. Last winter, Hertfordshire’s ‘Keep Warm, Stay Well’ campaign run by HertsHelp supported over 10,000 residents to stay warm in their homes as the unrelenting cold temperatures stretched well into spring.
Working with the 10 district councils, the NHS and key voluntary organisations, Hertfordshire County Council puts in place a number of measures each winter to help vulnerable people and those on low incomes. These include:
- A free energy efficiency check
- Home insulation, draught proofing, emergency heaters and help to improve heating
- Advice on paying bills, grants, benefits and extra money you may be entitled to
- Advice and practical support to stay well and active during winter
- Free easy to read thermometers
Current figures show that there are nearly 500 excess winter deaths in Hertfordshire, many of which are avoidable. The government estimates that more than 60,000 (13%) households in Hertfordshire are in ‘fuel poverty’ and this number will undoubtedly rise as fuel prices and the cost of living increases.
If you, or someone you know, needs help to keep their home warm this winter call HertsHelp 0300 123 4044 (local rate) Email: firstname.lastname@example.org