February 2009 started with snow… a lot of snow.
The extreme cold temperatures this winter mean that heating systems and insulation have been put to the test. The chances of people being at risk of fuel poverty has therefore increased. With fuel bills starting to arrive on peoples door mats this is a difficult time.
Some one is considered to suffer from fuel poverty when they have to spend at least 10% of their income on keeping their home warm and comfortable. As Talybont-on-Usk and the surrounding area consists of mostly hard to heat homes (solid walls, rooms in lofts preventing cheap insulation, oil or solid fuel heating) the chances of high levels of fuel poverty are significant at the best of times.
However with temperatures reaching double figures in the latter half of this month the chance to make savings are there. Everytime the sun comes out curtains should be open in order to maximise free heat from the sun. Now is the perfect time to make full use of any thermostats in the home – as temperatures are not reaching freezing so much at night hopefully homes are less likely to cool down as much.
Remember that the World Health Organisation recommends that temperatures in living rooms are between 18 and 21 degrees c. Temperatures should be at the upper end of that scale if not a little higher if there are elderly or very young people in a home.
February seems to be ending on a mild note. I hope this bodes well for the rest of 2009.