AN INITIATIVE has been launched to help local pensioners stay warm and save money over the winter months.
With energy bills soaring and the NHS recording an increasing number of winter deaths caused by the cold, the new scheme will target the elderly – particularly those in rural areas or pockets of deprivation.
OFTEC, the UK trade body for the oil-fired heating industry, has teamed up with Age UK to provide a free winter guide, providing key advice to help older people stay safe and warm.
Excess winter deaths are affecting more and more people in the UK as energy costs continue to rise and many rural homes – particularly those in rural areas - lack sufficient insulation, putting the elderly particularly at risk.
The latest statistics from the Office of National Statistics show that winter deaths increased by 29 per cent in 2012-13 to 31,100, of which 28,500 were people over 65.
The information guide includes money saving tips, advice on energy efficiency, oil tank security and useful phone numbers for further help such as finding a local registered technician together with general advice on staying warm and heating payments and schemes for the over 60’s.
Anyone can order a copy of this winter heating guide, free of charge, by calling OFTEC on Freephone number 0800 023 62 11.
Alternatively, a digital copy is available to download by logging onto www.oftec.org.uk .
Malcolm Farrow, of OFTEC, said: “We’re delighted to work with Age UK on this project to support older people who live in rural parts of Sussex and use oil heating.
“Our new guide provides the information they need to help them get the most out of their heating and stay safe and warm through the coldest part of the year.”