Get Winter Ready

Winter always poses a challenge with cold weather and an increased heating bill. This year will be especially difficult for our customers due to Covid-19 and the pressure this puts on their physical and mental health.

By getting 'Winter Ready' you can avoid the worst aspects of winter, such as frozen pipes and condensation, and ensure you and your family stay strong if there's a lockdown.

The sections below provide invaluable information which will help you prepare, save money and stay safe.

Pipes & Plumbing

Cold weather can freeze pipes, so it's a good idea to keep your home warm by putting the heating on regularly. Frozen pipes can cause lots of problems including burst pipes. If you think you have a burst pipe turn the water off in your home and report a repair.

The video below provides useful advice on how to identify and prevent frozen pipes:

For information on how to safely unfreeze a frozen pipe please see the video below:

Boiler & Radiators

It's essential that your heating system is working over the winter period. The video below provides useful advice on how to look after your boilers and radiators:

 

A common cause of cold radiators is trapped air. The video below shows how to bleed your radiators to prevent this:

 

Mould & Condensation

As the weather gets colder we often stop opening windows and start drying clothes indoors - this can cause condensation/moisture to form on walls and windows. If left for too long condensation can cause mould.

The video below provides some tips on preventing condensation:

Doors, Windows & Draughts

Draughts can cause heat to escape from your home, so it's a good idea to draught proof your house. The video below has more information:

Gas Safety

It's vital that you let us carry out gas checks throughout the winter period. This ensures your heating system is working properly and keeps you safe.

If you suspect you have a gas leak, you must phone the gas emergency number on 0800 111 999 and ensure you are safe before calling us.

Essential gas safety work - please call us on 0333 200 7304 if you have any concerns

Staying Safe

As the days get shorter it's a good idea to take extra precautions to stay safe:

  • Use a timer to keep lights on at home when you're away.
  • Make sure doors and windows are locked.
  • Be aware of scams - scammers are using Covid-19 as an opportunity to take advantage of people.

The video below provides more information about scams:

Physical & Mental Health

Due to Covid-19, it's vital that we look after our physical and mental health.

Physical

It can be hard to stay healthy during the winter. Motivating ourselves to exercise is hard when it's cold and dark outside, and our appetite for comfort food increases.

  • Diet - the NHS website has some excellent advice on eating a balanced diet.
  • Exercise - In addition to the NHS website there are lots of great online workout videos you could use to workout at home.
  • Vaccinations - Flu vaccinations are especially important this year, for more information please click here.

Mental Health

Winter can make us feel low, and the restrictions on socialising due to Covid-19 exacerbate this.

For information on how to keep the blues away this winter please have a look at our five ways to wellbeing.

Budgeting

Winter can put us under a lot of financial pressure, especially when it comes to heating bills. Below are links to helpful websites:

  • Compare Energy Suppliers with Ofgem. This is a great way to make sure you're on the cheapest energy tariff.
  • Big Difference Scheme by Severn Trent Water. This scheme is worth looking at if you have a low income, it could reduce your water bill by 90%.
  • Winter Fuel Payments is a government scheme where you could be eligible for up to £300 in benefits to support you.
  • Warm Home Discount Scheme is a government scheme which could reduce your electricity bill by £140.

For more information about financial support and advice please visit the Money, Benefits and Debt Advice section of our website.