The elderly, and particularly those over the age of 75 living in rural communities, are particularly vulnerable during winter months when a lack of heating can cause severe problems and even the risk of death.
The Cold Weather Priority (CWP) enables heating oil suppliers to identify and prioritise elderly customers, aged 75+, to ensure they have the fuel they need to stay warm all winter.
According to the Office for National Statistics there were an estimated 23,200 ‘excess winter deaths’ – meaning avoidable deaths where cold is a significant contributing factor – in England & Wales in the 2018 to 2019 winter period. We also know (from NICE – the National Institute for Health & Care Excellence) that over 80% of these avoidable deaths occur in people aged 75 and over. The CWP scheme helps to identify customers who are 75+ so UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) member heating oil suppliers across the UK and the Republic of Ireland then know exactly who may be at risk and can take pro-active steps to prioritise fuel deliveries to these customers, particularly during times of fuel shortages or extreme cold weather.
The Cold Weather Priority (CWP) scheme is simple in its design as it is effective at looking after elderly heating oil customers – if your household has one or more residents aged 75 and over, you are eligible to take part in the scheme.
The scheme works by providing an extra layer of support for elderly customers by enabling the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) member fuel suppliers to prioritise those on the scheme during the winter months.
UKIFDA members will be employing various methods to identify customers who they believe fall into the ‘CWP’ category, whether that is speaking to customers when heating oil orders are placed to identify if they may fall into the CWP category, writing to customers about the CWP initiative and asking customers if they want to be classed as a CWP customer and some UKIFDA members will undertake a data exchange with Experian to identify CWP customers.
All UKIFDA members work hard to identify customers age 75 plus and encourage customers to alert their local UKIFDA member heating oil supplier if they or someone in their home is aged 75+ so that they can become part of the CWP scheme.
The Cold Weather Priority scheme is open to individuals who meet specific criteria. If you or someone you live with falls under any of the following categories, you are eligible to join.
The scheme recognises that older individuals are often more susceptible to the effects of cold weather. As such, if you’re aged 75 or above, you are automatically eligible to join the scheme. This age criterion acknowledges the increased vulnerability and potential health risks faced by older individuals when temperatures drop.
Cold Weather Priority supports individuals who face vulnerability during cold weather. Vulnerability can result from factors such as health conditions, disabilities, or other circumstances that increase risks in colder temperatures.