For many people, high energy costs mean heating your home is a struggle. If you’re worried about paying your energy bills, or even going without heating or food there is support available. See our energy bills information.

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Keeping warm

There are a few things you can do to heat your home more cost effectively:

  • If you can’t heat all your rooms, heat the ones you spend a lot of time in – to at least 18°C
  • Use the timer setting on your heating to make it come on just before you get up and switch off after you've gone to bed
  • If it's very cold, set your heating to come on earlier and turn off later rather than turning the thermostat up
  • Oil-filled radiators can be the safest way to add extra heat to your home
  • Avoid using gas heaters as these have a higher risk of carbon monoxide poisoning
  • Take a look at the Met Office guidance on keeping your home warm this winter

Storage heaters

Some of our homes that don’t have gas will have electric storage heaters (or night storage heaters) for their heating.

Storage heaters use electricity to heat up bricks inside them during the night. The bricks then release the heat stored in the bricks during the day to warm your home.

Reducing electricity costs

If your home has storage heaters fitted as your main heat source, it’s important you’re on an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff. These tariffs provide cheaper electricity during the night when the bricks are heating up. 

Whilst night time electricity is cheaper on these tariffs, day rates are often more expensive so talk to your supplier about the best options for you.

Martin Lewis Money Expert has some great tips for using the Economy 7 tariff efficiently.

Using your storage heaters

  1. Leave your storage heater switched on: if the heater is turned off the bricks can’t heat up overnight. We advise leaving the heater turned on throughout the winter then turn off in the spring
  2. Use the vents to manage heat output: Older storage heaters release heat gradually through vents during the day to keep your home at a constant temperature. Depending on the type of storage heater you have, you may have to close the vents at night, this allow the bricks to heat up, you can then open them in the day to allow the heat to escape
  3. Thermostat: if you have a more modern heater the vents may work automatically via a thermostat or timer
  4. Heat boost: Some storage heaters have an in-built fan heater. These fan heaters can be very expensive to use, and you may be better off using a separate oil-filled electric radiator if you need additional heating

This video from the Centre for Sustainable Energy helps to explain the best way to use your storage heater:

If you're unsure how to use your storage heater, or if you think it’s not working properly, please raise a repair through My Account or contact us.

Stay safe using electric heaters

If you have electric fan heaters:

  • Buy from a reputable outlet and follow instructions
  • Keep them away from curtains and furniture
  • Do not use them for drying clothes
  • Always unplug them when you leave go out or go to bed
  • Make sure they're on a flat and stable surface

If you have an electric blanket:

  • Do not use a hot water bottle with it, even if the blanket is switched off
  • Unplug your blanket before you go to bed, unless it has a thermostat control for safe all-night use

Power cuts – be prepared

Cold weather means the chance of a power cut is more likely.

  • Make sure you have a torch handy in your home just in case
  • Keep an eye on the weather forecast

If you have a power cut:

  • Call the power cut emergency number 105
  • Remember that lots of thin layers of clothes will keep you warmer than wearing a single thick layer
  • Please check on your neighbours too, especially if they are elderly or vulnerable

Emergency repairs – 24hrs a day, 7 days a week

  • If you have no water or electricity, call us for an emergency repair on 01634 565 333
  • If you have no heating or hot water, call Liberty Gas immediately on 0330 3338 397
  • If you smell gas dial 0800 111 999

View our repairs page for more information.

Staying healthy

There are things you can do to help keep you warm and reduce the risk of getting poorly during the winter.

  • Try not to sit still for too long – no more than an hour or so at a time
  • If it’s difficult to move about, stretch your arms and legs often
  • If you have visitors, open a window for a few minutes before and after they arrive to help stop the spread of germs. If it’s not too cold, it might be better to leave the window open whilst they are there
  • When you go out, wear a thick coat and shoes with good grip
  • If bad weather is on its way, make sure you have enough medication and food in case it’s harder to leave the house
  • If you cannot leave the house, ask someone you trust to help pick up food and medication on your behalf
  • Keeping your home warm can help to prevent damp and mould which is more likely during the colder winter months
  • Lastly, keep an eye out for your family members and neighbours. The elderly, children under five, and people with breathing difficulties are more at risk during cold weather

For more information see NHS England guidance on how to stay well in winter.