Help your elderly neighbours prepare for the cold

Our data shows advice on home energy is needed most as the winter sets in

15 October 2015

Look out for elderly and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours to check they stay healthy in the cold weather. People over 65 are especially affected by the cold, even more so if they have heart or respiratory conditions.

Now is the time for some neighbourly advice. If you pop over for a cup of tea and their home is cold, ask why. It might be that they’re trying to save money, can’t afford to turn the heating on or don’t understand their heating controls. These are all things our energy advisors can help with.

Our data from the past year show that call numbers jump substantially when temperatures start to fall. And people seek out more online advice as the days get colder too (see graphs below). There might be twice as many visits to our website on a cold winter's day compared to one where temperatures are in the mild teens.

Graph 1: Median number of calls to our advice line plotted against mean daily temperature

Graph 2: Mean number of visits to pages on our website plotted against mean daily temperature

Get in touch with us for advice

The Home Energy Team have a freephone number or can be emailed at

One-to-one help is available for people living in Bristol and Somerset. The team can offer:

  • Help reading meters, setting heating controls and understanding energy bills
  • No cost and low cost energy saving tips
  • Signposting to other areas of support e.g. Citizens Advice and debt advice agencies
  • Help switching energy supplier to get a better deal
  • Advice on energy saving measures – insulation, ventilation, heating systems, glazing, lighting and appliances
  • Referrals to external grant schemes to pay for energy efficiency measures
  • Advice on solar panels, heat pumps and other renewable energy technologies

If you’re outside this area, our website has a wealth of advice on these issues. Lots of it is available as downloadable PDFs that you can print and share.


See also our work to enable the implementation in Bristol of the National Institute of Health and Care Excellence (NICE) guideline on cold homes.

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