In cold weather here's some advice on how to keep warm without racking up large fuel bills. This is particularly important for residents who are elderly or who have mobility issues. Here are four hot tips:
1. Are you using your central heating system correctly?
Make sure your room thermostat is set to the correct temperature - usually between 18-21°C. Reducing your room thermostat by just 1°C can save up to 10% on your heating costs so set it to the lowest temperature at which you feel comfortable.
Check your individual radiator valves are set to the correct level. 1 is low 5 is high. The valves should be set to a low temperature in unused rooms and a higher setting in rooms you would like to be warmer.
If you think any part of your heating system isn't working correctly please report it to us.
If you have a hot water tank, it should be insulated - if it isn't let us know and we can come and fit a jacket for you.
2. Do you know how to get the best from your night storage heater?
If you have a night storage heater make sure you are on a tariff that offers a cheaper rate for electricity overnight, eg 'Economy 7' (contact your fuel supplier to check). Make sure you are using the heater correctly so that you have enough heat stored to last you through the day.
3. Are you with the cheapest energy supplier and on the best tariff for you?
Did you know you could save up to £250 a year by changing who supplies your gas and electricity, just by using the internet or making a phone call? For help comparing suppliers and tariffs and with switching visit www.myhomeenergyswitch.org.uk or call 0800 051 5346 (free from a landline) - a service backed by the National Housing Federation.
4.Do you know where to go for more advice on saving energy?
The Energy Advice Project offers a range of free services, including home visits and one-to-one support, advice on payment options and budgeting, and help if you are in debt with an energy supplier. Call them on 0117 954 3990 or visit www.talkingmoney.org.uk. The Energy Saving Trust gives expert advice on 0800 512012 (free-phone).