It’s December, and that means short days and cold nights and as the wind rises and the rain lashes at the window we simply turn up the thermostat and haul out the winter tog duvets.
Age UK say the ideal temperature is 64°F (18°C) for your bedroom and 70°F (21°C) for your living room. Remaining warm both inside and outside your home and eating and drinking well can help reduce the risk of serious health problems whatever your age.
As we get older it takes longer to warm up which can be bad for our health. The cold thickens blood and increases blood pressure, and breathing in cold air can increase the risk of chest infections.
But what do you do if you or your family are poorly and worried about the cost of heating or if your boiler is older than or as old as you are? Keeping warm is a key part of Stay Well this Winter and the Green Doctors can help.
Julie, aged 55, tells us how a Green Doctors visit helped her.
“I have lived in a Victorian back-back, 2 bedroom terrace house for around 15 years. Up until then (August 2016) I had no central heating system and depended on just a single gas fire in the living room for my heating needs. Hot water was supplied from a water cylinder storage tank heated by an electric immersion heater. As a result, my heating and hot water requirements were inadequate and expensive.
I contacted my local benefits office to ask about possible grants for a central heating system and they put me in touch with the Green Doctors. The Green Doctors assessed my situation and because I was on a low-income and receiving qualifying benefits they were able to refer me to the Central Heating Fund Scheme. Within 2 months I had a new central heating system installed.”
The Green Doctors got in touch with Julie again to confirm that she fully understood how the system worked, to ask if she had any other problems and help her in further reducing her energy costs through a Green Doctor home energy efficiency check. As a result Julie switched energy supplier saving around £120 a year.
Being the only resident, the Green Doctors advised Julie to consider having a water meter installed. After contacting Yorkshire water it was estimated that Julie could save around £259 per year on her water bills and so she has arranged for this to go ahead.
The Green Doctors also discovered that Julie’s house had no loft insulation at all which meant her energy costs were up as 25% of the heat created in the home leaked through the roof. The Green Doctors were able to apply successfully for ECO funding and Julie’s loft is being insulated for free. They draught-proofed her front door which opened directly onto the street and had large gaps around the door frame: this made a huge difference in the level of warmth in the living room.
“What a great service” said Julie to the Green Doctors, you have been so ‘nice and helpful’. “I am now far more aware of my energy use and now switching off lights, using less water and cutting down on my energy bills”. “I would definitely recommend the Green Doctor service.
Groundwork’s Green Doctor service offers practical support to help people take control and reduce their environmental impact at the same time. The service provides home visits and 1-2-1 advice to use less energy, keep warm and save money
The Green Doctor service is free of charge subject to eligibility criteria.
The Green Doctor home visits usually takes about an hour and provides support as well as installing small energy efficiency measures.
Green Doctors provide support, information and advice on:
- Switching suppliers
- Applying for the Warm Homes Discount
- Grants for insulation and central heating
- Energy bills and fuel debt
- Behavioural changes to reduce costs
- Managing heating control
Green Doctors can also install simple energy-saving measures including:
- Energy-efficient light bulbs
- Draught excluders
- Reflective radiator panels
- Pipe lagging
- Hot water tank jackets
- Water saving devices
The Green Doctors also provide the in partnership with Care & Repair Leeds.
If you would like to find out more about the Warm Homes Service and other services at Care & Repair and the Energy and Tariff Switching Advice sessions please go to our website http://www.care-repair-leeds.org.uk or tel; 0113 3918336 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To find out more or book a free home visit: Call Green Doctors on: 0113 238 0601
Checking you’re with the best energy supplier is one the best ways of saving money. With the cold weather setting in and the heating going on, energy bills are set to rise over the next few months, so it’s worth making sure you are getting the best deal .
Did you know that households from Leeds, and throughout Yorkshire, can now buy their gas and electricity from White Rose Energy, a new supplier designed to provide fairer, more transparent gas and electricity prices, backed by Leeds City Council. White Rose Energy is available to all gas and electricity consumers, regardless of whether they own or rent their own homes. To find out more or to get a quote visit www.whiteroseenergy.co.uk