A campaign promoting warmer, better-insulated homes is being backed by Jo Swinson MP.
The Warm Homes Campaign is a national campaign that aims to cut the number of people living in fuel poverty and reduce cold-related illnesses by raising awareness of the help available to people who cannot afford to heat their homes in winter.
As part of the Campaign, Jo visited a local Milngavie resident today, to view the loft insulation and draught proofing carried out by local company Solas Scotland to make her home warmer and help reduce fuel bills.
Jo said: “Fuel Poverty is not just a problem of discomfort, it poses a real threat to the elderly and vulnerable of my constituents in East Dunbartonshire.
“It is vital that help reaches those in need to prevent the serious consequences of fuel poverty. That is why I am encouraged to see the Warm Homes Campaign in action, installing heating and insulation to heat homes and reduce fuel bills.”
The campaign, which runs in November and December, is organised by fuel poverty charity Energy Action Scotland in association with energy supplier Powergen, which is part of E.ON UK.
A range of events are taking place in support of the campaign to make people aware of the role that energy efficiency can play in making homes warmer, more comfortable and less expensive to heat.
Norman Kerr, Director, Energy Action Scotland added: “Energy Action Scotland has organised the Warm Homes Campaign to let our politicians know how important it is that government at all levels puts sufficient resources into making our homes more energy-efficient. Cold, damp homes affect the most vulnerable members of our community, such as the elderly, families with young children, people with disabilities and others on low incomes.
“I encourage anyone who may have trouble keeping warm this winter to call the Home Heat Helpline on freephone 0800 33 66 99 for energy efficiency and financial advice, or their local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on freephone 0800 512 012 for energy advice and to find out more about grants available to help you heat your home.”
There are a number of simple actions people can take to make their homes warmer and to help reduce their fuel bills. Energy Action Scotland recommends the following:
. Insulate your hot-water tank to reduce heating costs and keep your water hot for longer. Make sure the insulation is at least 8 cm thick. If your hot-water tank has a thermostat, check that it is not set too high. 60°C (140°F) is usually hot enough for household use.
. Only switch your hot-water on for the hours when you need hot water. It is more expensive to leave it on all day.
. Put up heavy curtains, or curtains with thermal linings, to help to keep the heat in, and close them as soon as it starts to go dark. If your radiators are under your windows, don’t cover them with your curtains. Remember to tuck your curtains behind the radiators.
. Put up small shelves about 5 cm (2 inches) above your radiators to push warm air towards the centre of the room.
. If you have central heating, set the room thermostat at a temperature which you find comfortable. The recommended temperature is 21°C (70°F) for the living area and 18 °C (64°F) for the rest of the house, unless there is an elderly or vulnerable member of the household when the temperature should be 23 °C (73 °F) for the living area and 18 °C (64°F) for the rest of the house. If your rooms feel too warm, don’t waste energy by opening windows – turn down the thermostat instead.
. Use low-energy lightbulbs in rooms where you have the lights on for long periods of time. They last about 12 times longer than ordinary lightbulbs and use only a fifth of the electricity.
. If you have storage heaters, remember to close the damper or output dial (sometimes called the boost) before you go to bed or if you go out during the day to avoid wasting heat.