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Older homeowners 'must seek thermal insulation before winter'

Older people must ensure their homes are fitted with thermal insulation ahead of the winter months, according to National Energy Action (NEA).

The charity has advised homeowners in their twilight years to take action now to make their properties as warm and comfortable as possible before the temperature drops.

Currently, the NEA estimates that 2.5 million households with residents over the age of 60 are living in fuel poverty and are unable to afford vital home improvements.

Maria Wardrobe, director of external affairs at the organisation and chair of the Safe Warm Homes Group of the Age Action Alliance, said older people must be able to keep warm this winter and recommended any concerned homeowners to contact Warm Front scheme representatives.

Advisers from the initiative will then inform them of whether they are eligible for assistance and, if so, they could receive grants towards loft insulation, draught-proofing and cavity wall insulation.

At most, older residents could receive £6,000 to replace their heating systems with alternative technology.

Representatives from Age UK were among consumer groups to encourage people to take advantage of the scheme last month.

Ms Wardrobe states: "Charities, community groups, local authorities and others that work to support older people also have a key role to play in helping to identify and help those that may be in fuel poverty."

To assist poorer householders over the age of 60, the NEA has developed a new publication entitled Warm Homes Older People, she added.

The step-by-step guide is designed to help homeowners recognise the signs of fuel poverty and where they must be directed to for support.

A set of proposals outlined at the Labour Party's recent autumn conference in Manchester on Tuesday (October 2nd) included ways to make households around Britain warmer ahead of winter.

The party's SwitchTogether campaign plans to offer homeowners better deals on insulation and take away some of the financial strains of fuel costs.

Posted by Helen Hughes