Guy Pulham, UKIFDA chief executive
This year, the campaign is also being launched in the same week as the National Energy Action (NEA) Warm Homes Week which is an annual event to highlight the challenges and solutions involved with tackling cold homes, ending fuel poverty and examining the just transition to Net Zero 2050.
“As September traditionally marks the start of Autumn, our Get Winter Ready campaign urges the 1.5m UK heating oil customers to order their oil early. The COVID-19 pandemic means it is even more crucial to order ahead of winter as a second wave of coronavirus would increase the pressure on the supply chain and at the time of year when pressure is already high,” explains Guy Pulham, UKIFDA chief executive.
“This year we also felt it poignant to launch during NEA’s Warm Homes Week. The key strands of the NEA Warm Homes week – tackling cold homes, ending fuel poverty and examining a just transition to Net Zero are also key issues UKIFDA and its members are passionate about which is why we’ve decided to kickstart our ‘Get Winter Ready’ messaging alongside NEA’s Warm Homes Week this year.
“As part of its industry transition to Net Zero, UKIFDA is lobbying government to include liquid biofuels in future energy policy for off-grid homes which is supported by the recent Future Energy Scenarios report from National Grid which states: 'For rural areas, the switch to decarbonisation is harder as there is no one obvious solution for homes on either oil, solid fuel, or LPG. Heat pumps can work, if the home is well insulated and importantly, if it is cost effective to upgrade the local electricity network to cope with the increase in peak demand. However, this is often not the case, so we’ve assumed that biofuels will be available for some rural homes.”
UKIFDA membership and events manager Dawn Shakespeare commented: “As part of our Get Winter Ready campaign we also want to encourage more over 75s to join their local UKIFDA fuel suppliers’ Cold Weather Priority scheme which enables UKIFDA members to identify vulnerable customers and prioritise deliveries in winter to those who need it most. We urge anyone aged 75 and over to add themselves to the scheme if they haven’t already done so – it’s a free service and we want as many eligible customers as possible to sign up before winter.”
Mr Pulham adds: “As part of our Get Winter Ready campaign, we are also encouraging homeowners to book in maintenance checks for boilers and tanks while the weather is still quite mild – this is vital for those homeowners who cannot be left without heating when it gets cold.
“Regular maintenance of boilers and heating systems is important, especially as we head into Autumn and Winter. An OFTEC-registered technician will be able to service a boiler and garden oil tank and spot any potential problems before they arise.”