The Cold Weather Priority initiative is designed to enable heating oil suppliers to identify those most vulnerable so they can ensure deliveries are prioritised for them when there are supply shortages or the weather is extremely cold.

Since it began in 2017 over 22,000 elderly consumers of heating oil have signed up to the scheme and it proved vital when the Beast from the East hit in February/March 2018.

There are currently 1.5million homes in the UK and 686,000 homes in Ireland that rely on liquid fuels for heating.

Guy Pulham, The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) chief executive, said: "The elderly are most at risk during the winter months as cold homes can be so destructive for individuals. Being cold can cause various health problems, increasing blood pressure or reducing the immune system and putting people at greater risk of respiratory illnesses.

"With the scheme, our member suppliers can identify those most at risk from the cold and take proactive steps to prioritise deliveries to them, ensuring they have enough fuel to stay warm throughout winter.

"We want as many customers as possible aged 75 and over to sign up to the Cold Weather Priority scheme. Now is the perfect time to sign up as it will ensure you are part of the scheme before winter sets in.

"It costs nothing to be part of the Cold Weather Priority initiative and you only need to ask your local UKIFDA member who supplies your heating oil and they will help. Similarly, if you have elderly neighbours or friends who also use heating oil to heat their homes, encourage them to sign up and stay warm all winter."

To find out more about the Cold Weather Priority, visit

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