Every winter, thousands of older people in England become seriously ill or even die as a result of the cold.
Staying warm has to become a priority, but often, when it is a choice of 'eat or heat' many pensioners are left in the cold.
Yarlington Housing Group is acting fast to help avoid high fuel costs for elderly residents this winter by fitting almost 450 properties with renewable heating systems that could see fuel bills tumble by as much as 50%, a saving which will be made directly by the household.
Work has already started on the programme to install two types of heat pumps into some of its sheltered homes, and the ambitious plan will be completed before Christmas.
"These people are elderly and vulnerable, and we had to do all we could to stop these unnecessary deaths every year" said project leader Rob Barker. "But we are not going to stop here. There are many more people within our sheltered schemes who were not eligible for this grant but who would benefit from this type of heating system, so we have made a commitment to them to upgrade their heating in our next phase of improvements."
The heating systems will replace the current storage heaters, which until now have been the central heating solution for those homes without mains gas.
"We have 4,000 properties 'off gas' said Rob "that's almost half of our stock. We have selected those whose heating was next due for replacement, and we are looking forward to seeing those homes benefitting from the new systems very soon."
One of the first residents to benefit from the new system was delighted with the result. "It is amazing" she said. "I know exactly what I am spending and it is costing over a third less than our previous heating and water, yet it's on for longer.
"The men were fantastic, and told us exactly what would happen and how it would work. I can't praise them enough; they were so kind and good."