Industry body highlights importance of seasonal support scheme for heating oil users

As the winter weather arrives, UKIFDA highlights the importance of the Cold Weather Priority Scheme (CWP).

Distributors have a vital role in ensuring the vulnerable have access to winter heating.

The free-to-register CWP scheme ensures that those most vulnerable to the effects of cold weather receive priority service during the winter months.

With an ageing population in mind this winter, the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA), the trade association for the liquid fuels distribution industry, is pressing for people aged 75 or over who rely on heating oil to sign up for the Cold Weather Priority scheme (CWP) with their local distributors.

According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), the population of those aged 75 and above in the UK is 5.7 million, representing 9% of the total UK population. This number is growing, and it is projected that those over 65 will make up 10% of the population in the next five years.

Crucial role for distributors

Approximately 1.7 million UK homes rely on liquid fuels for their heating needs. UKIFDA members distribute in excess of 80% of the UK heating oil volume and play a crucial role in ensuring that those living in rural areas, particularly the over 75 and vulnerable groups, have access to heating during the winter months. Lack of heating can lead to severe problems and even pose a risk of death, making it all the more important to ensure this group of customers is supported.

Taking steps to avoid this situation, the CWP scheme, set up by UKIFDA, is designed to identify those most at-risk so that the participating UKIFDA members can prioritise deliveries, especially during cold weather or supply shortages.

Ken Cronin, UKIFDA CEO, comments on this crucial initiative: “With the onset of cold weather, taking care of the most vulnerable members of our society becomes imperative. That’s why we urge anyone aged 75 or over to sign up for UKIFDA’s Cold Weather Priority scheme with their local distributors. It is entirely free for heating oil customers.

“To be included, customers need to contact their local UKIFDA fuel distributor if they haven’t done so already.”

With unpredictable weather and the continuing cost of living pressures, UKIFDA, in collaboration with the Oil Firing Technical Association (OFTEC), recently launched the Be Winter Wise campaign – a five-point guide to help heating oil users this winter. In addition, the guide provides information for heating oil users who are struggling to pay for their oil, including the Government’s Help For Households campaign and its Help With Your Energy Bills guide.

Find out more about the Cold Weather Priority (CWP) scheme here, or click here to find the participating UKIFDA fuel distributor members.