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Minister launches guide to help older people stay warm this winter

Published 22/12/2014


The Minister for Older People Kathleen Lynch today officially launched a free guide, offering key advice to help older people using oil home heating to stay safe and warm throughout the winter period.

The guide, which is being distributed throughout Ireland, was created by OFTEC, which represents the domestic oil heating and cooking industry in Ireland, in conjunction with Age Action.

Excess winter deaths are a major issue in Ireland, with older people particularly at risk.

Minister Lynch said: “With this winter predicted to be particularly harsh, it’s essential that older people know what they can do to keep their fuel bills low and stay warm and well over the winter months.  I’m pleased to support this new guide that not only provides money saving tips, advice on energy efficiency and oil tank security but also information on heating payments and schemes for the elderly.  It also contains useful phone numbers and general guidance on staying warm.”

Age Action will be distributing the guide throughout its network of branches and shops and anyone can order a copy, free of charge, by calling OFTEC on 01 864 5771.

Alternatively, a digital copy is available to download from both the OFTEC website here.

David Blevings, Ireland Manager of OFTEC, said: “We’re delighted to work with the Minister and Age Action on this important project to support older people who use oil heating.   Approximately half a million homes in Ireland use heating oil as their primary heating source so we feel it’s vital to provide older people  with as much information as possible to help them save money and keep warm through the coldest part of the year.”

Robin Webster, Chief Executive of Age Action, said: “Many of the most vulnerable older people rely on oil heating to keep warm. But with high numbers of older households struggling to afford the fuel they need, it’s essential that people know what they can do to keep their fuel bills low and stay warm over the winter months.  We are pleased to be working with OFTEC to provide information specifically aimed at those who heat their homes via oil-fired central heating systems.”

David Blevings added: “We want to help as many people as possible save money on oil and have made this information available online through our Oilsave website. However, we were very aware that this may not be reaching the most vulnerable group, older people, which is why we’ve worked with Age Action Ireland to produce the new printed guide.”

“There are also grants available under the Better Energy Homes Scheme from the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) for those with older, inefficient oil boilers and the details are contained within the guide and our registered technicians can help older people to take advantage of the grants while they are still available to reduce energy costs and improve energy efficiency.”



Age Action Ireland to benefit from Gas Networks Ireland Survey

Gas Networks Ireland is raising money for Age Action. If you've recently called their contact centre or had work done by them, you might receive a text from Gas Networks asking for your feedback. For every response received, they'll donate €2 to Age Action. There is no obligation to participate.

How It Works - If you've had contact with Gas Networks Ireland service centre or had work carried out by them, you may receive a message from Marie Lyster, their Customer Experience Manager. This message is an invitation to share your feedback. 

By providing feedback – only if you choose to – you'll be supporting Age Action Ireland. For every piece of feedback received, Gas Networks Ireland will donate €2 to our organisation. This contribution can support our efforts to improve the lives of older people in Ireland.You won't be asked for any bank details or money. Gas Networks Ireland is handling all the donations.

If you would rather not get these texts, just let them know and you won’t be included.  If you are over 65yrs old, you can contact them directly on their Age-Friendly service.  See their contact details here.

For Corporate Clients- Please note that Gas Networks donate €50 for each qualitative interview their commercial customers take part in.

Details on Gas networks customer surveys is available here.

For more information about our work and other ways to get involved with Age Action, please click here.