With temperatures predicted to plummet later this week, Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council is encouraging residents to stay safe and stay warm.
The council is helping to spread the word about the health cost of being cold and about the ways in which residents can keep themselves and their homes warm.
Residents worried about the temperature in their house should avoid staying still for more than an hour, have regular hot drinks and eat at least one hot meal a day.
Wearing lots of thin layers is more effective than wearing thick clothes and either a hot water bottle or an electric blanket can help with keeping warm in bed.
Homes can be kept warm by closing the curtains at dusk, making sure that radiators are not obstructed, draught-proofing doors and windows and ensuring there is sufficient loft insulation.
It’s important to remember not to use a gas cooker or oven to heat the home, as it’s inefficient and carries a risk of carbon monoxide poisoning.
The borough council is also continuing to work with Parity Trust to offer low interest loans for energy efficiency improvements in homes and community centres.
These loans can help reduce energy costs through improvements such as replacement windows and doors, cavity wall and loft insulation, new heating systems or renewable energy technologies such as solar panels.
They can help individuals and groups to save money and to reduce their carbon footprints.
The council’s Cabinet Member for Regulatory Services and The Environment, Cllr Hayley Eachus, said: “We are working hard to make sure that residents don’t have to be cold this winter.
“It can be extremely dangerous, especially for vulnerable groups such as the elderly, very young children and those who are disabled or who have a long-term illness.
“As part of this project, we’re working with local healthcare partners to make sure that messages are getting through to residents who could be at risk.
“We know that often households don’t have the funds available to make the energy efficiency improvements they would like in order to improve the warmth of their home and reduce energy bills. Our low carbon loan scheme is designed to help in this situation and offers a low interest rate as it’s subsidised by the council.
“I would encourage residents to make contact and to find out more about the scheme- it can help ensure warm homes and to keep energy costs low.”
For more information on the scheme, or to apply for a loan, contact Parity Trust directly on 023 9237 5921 or visit www.basingstoke.gov.uk/lowcarbonloans.
For more information about keeping warm this winter, visit www.nhs.uk/keepwarmkeepwell, http://www3.hants.gov.uk/cold-spots or phone 0800 804 8601 from Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm. For energy efficiency advice visit http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency or phone 0300 1231234.