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Staying safe and warm this winter

A letter to residents from Helen Lennon, our chief executive.

Helen Lennon, Chief Executive

Helen Lennon, Chief Executive

As we head into winter, I know lots of you will be worried about the colder months ahead because of rising prices.

While the energy price cap hasn’t risen as much as we feared, energy is a lot more expensive than it was this time last year. As a result, many of us will be thinking twice about heating our homes.

It’s also important to note that the price cap is only on the cost of energy per unit, not the total you pay each year. Often the media says bills are capped at £2500, but this is just the amount that energy will cost an average household. If you use more than the average, you will pay more than £2500. If you use less, you’ll pay less

The main thing I want you to know is that we’re here to help. If you’re concerned about money and the cost of living, our Money Matters team offer friendly, practical advice designed to help you maximise your finances. There may be other practical help available too, depending on your circumstances. Their service is free and open to all residents. Please give them a call on 0300 5000 600 rather than worry alone. You can also contact the team on our Money Matters page.

If you’re worried about being able to pay an energy bill, get in touch with your energy supplier or contact us and we can help you speak to them. Please don’t ignore the problem as speaking to them early can avoid more serious issues later on.

Remember that you should receive a £67 a month discount or rebate from your energy supplier for 6 months from October 2022. If you’re not sure how they will get this to you yet- especially if you are on a prepayment meter where it may be a voucher – please contact them. If you have difficulties with them, contact us as we may be able to help you get the information you need.

It’s important that you try not to stop using your heating altogether. Colder homes will result in condensation – where water in the air settles on cold surfaces. If this is left unchecked, it can lead to mould growth and a feeling of damp and there will be little we can do about it if you call us.

Ideally try to keep every room at least at 15 degrees to reduce the risk of damp. There are other small steps you can take:

  • Use your extractor fan in the kitchen and in bathrooms when cooking and showering, and keep your internal doors closed.
  • Leave a small gap between furniture and external walls to allow air to circulate.
  • Open bedroom windows for 5-10 minutes when you get up. While opening your windows on a winter morning may seem like a bad idea, it’s the easiest way to get the moisture out of your home.
  • On cold mornings, wipe condensation from your windows.

Please avoid using alternative, non-electric heating or cooking equipment such as camping stoves. These are generally not safe for indoor use and can result in carbon monoxide poisoning. If you are struggling to make hot food, please contact us.

Ultimately all these actions will keep you more comfortable and safer in your home. We will keep updating advice in the Connected magazine, on Facebook and our website.

The main message though is, if in doubt about what to do, please speak to us. We want to help.

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Connect Housing Association Limited is a charitable association registered in England and Wales under the Co-operative and Community Benefit Societies Act 2014 (Company No. IP17445R) and with the Regulator of Social Housing (No. L2285).

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