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According to The National Institute of Clinical Excellence (NICE), each year in the UK, there are around 40,000 ‘excess winter deaths’ each year, brought about by cold. 82.5% of these are in the very elderly (over 75s) – many of which are experiencing fuel poverty. Clearly, something has to be done to bring this figure down.
With more than one million rural homes in the UK using oil for their heating, we, at the Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) together with our members are launching our Cold Weather Priority (CWP) Initiative for the off-grid sector this October. This initiative has been developed to identify those most at risk, so these customers can be prioritised during periods of extreme cold, or fuel shortages.
The FPS has support for the CWP initiative from Energy Minister, Richard Harrington who said: "Extreme and cold weather conditions can create severe problems in the winter months for those that use oil to heat their homes. This initiative ensures that those in particular need are prioritised for delivery of fuel. This is a welcome move by the industry which will provide security, comfort and peace of mind to thousands of people across the country in vulnerable circumstances."
FPS Marketing Manager Dawn Shakespeare comments: "FPS members will be employing various methods to identify customers who they believe fall into the ‘CWP' category, so that deliveries can be prioritised to these people during the winter months. The FPS is also urging customers who are aged over 75 to get in touch with their heating oil supplier if they believe they should be part of the CWP initiative. The FPS and many of our members are also working with the Chief Fire Officers' Association (CFOA) and the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service (SFRS) and asking customers in the CWP scheme if we can pass their details to Fire & Rescue services, so we can enable 'Safe and Well' visits to be arranged for them.
Thankfully, situations where supplies of fuel are short and the cold is extreme are rare.
However, the initiatives like the CWP enables fuel suppliers to take a pro-active view of customers who could possibly be at risk, ensuring that getting heating oil supplies through to them is a priority."
If you would like to know more about the scheme and to check if your local supplier is involved visit cold weather priority or contact your nearest Federation of Petroleum Suppliers (FPS) member - a list of your nearest suppliers can be found here http://www.oilsave.org.uk/distributor-search