Keep Warm and Well this Winter
SEAI along with other government agencies are providing advice and information about the supports available to help you keep warm and well this winter.
Winter can be a challenging time for anyone, but particularly for people who are more vulnerable, like elderly people, people with a disability or long-term illness, people living in poorly insulated homes and for anyone who has responsibility to care for someone else.
In collaboration with other government agencies and support bodies, we are working on a detailed booklet for all householders this year with tips and advice on how to keep warm and well. The updated 'Keep Warm and Well' booklet will be published early in the New Year.
In advance of this, we have pulled together some of the key highlights from the booklet including a summary of financial support available, advice on energy use and healthcare supports you can avail of.
Cold weather can lead to an increase in chest infections such as flu and pneumonia as well as to hypothermia and other health problems, especially for people who are at high risk. If you have any of these conditions or other illnesses, make sure you stay warm and well this winter.
- If you live alone and feel ill, let someone know. If you live alone and don't have anyone you can call, contact ALONE.
- If you need to go to hospital for a few days, ask a nurse to ring a friend, relative or neighbour to heat your home and get in some food before you are discharged.
- If you are over 60 years of age, you can also call ALONE on 0818 222 024 for support when you are leaving hospital.
The updaed guide will include detailed information about:
- Keeping warm.
- Sleeping in very cold weather.
- Flu injection and vaccines.
- GP out-of-hours services.
- Eating well.
- Meals on Wheels.
- Keeping active.
You will also find advice regarding your safety and security including home safety, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms and severe weather.
Household Benefits Package
This package helps households with the costs of electricity or gas bills. It also includes your television licence. Only one HBP is payable per household. The package is available to everyone over 70. It is not means tested and you do not need to be getting a pension. Learn more here.
The Fuel Allowance is a payment to help with the cost of heating your home during the winter months. Learn more here.
Additional and Urgent Needs Payments
You can get the ‘Additional and Urgent Needs Payment’ to help you with an expense that you cannot pay from your weekly income. Learn more here.
To find more information regarding Housing aid for older people including essential repairs, please contact your local authority here.
What to do if you can’t pay your energy bill
Contact Money Advice and Budgeting Service (MABS)
If you can’t pay your energy bill, you should get in touch with MABS. They will be able to give you advice and support.
Contact your energy supplier
If you are finding it hard to pay your electricity or gas bill, you should contact your supplier and try to agree a payment plan with them.
Special Services Register for vulnerable customers
If you are a vulnerable customer, energy suppliers who have signed up to the Energy Engage Code will treat you as a priority customer. As a priority customer, you will never be disconnected from your energy supply. You can find more information about this scheme and if you are eligible to apply through the Special Services Register in our booklet.
Remember that your health is the most important thing, so do not stop using the energy that you need to keep warm this winter. If you are unwell, make sure you keep your home at a comfortable temperature.
Reduce Your Use
By reducing our daily energy use, we can save money and limit our reliance on imported fossil fuels. We have lots advice on how to save energy in the home, in your business and when travelling. Learn more here.
SEAI Home energy grants
SEAI offers three different grant routes to getting a home energy upgrade. When you insulate your home, you keep the heat in, which means you won’t need to use as much energy to heat the home. SEAI offer individual grants for attic and wall insulation, heating controls, Solar pv and Solar thermal. Each grant route below is suited to different circumstances and budgets.
If you are over the age of 60 and are worried about energy bills or are experiencing other difficulties this winter, you can contact ALONE. ALONE is a national organisation that helps older people live at home independently. Our work is for all older people and aims to improve physical, emotional and mental wellbeing.
ALONE can be reached from 8am–8pm seven days per week by calling 0818 222 024.