OLDER people have been encouraged to apply for winter fuel payments.
Households with a person aged 60 to 79 are entitled to £250 while for those with someone 80 or over the figure is £400. Nearly nine million households received the payment last year.
People who normally receive the payments do not have to re-apply, but pensions minister Mike O’Brien has encouraged new applicants to join up.
He said: “We don’t want anyone to miss out on the help to which they are entitled.
“If you haven’t received a winter fuel payment before you need to apply by September 19 to receive the money before Christmas.”
And Mr O’Brien said there were other ways for pensioners to save money on their fuel bills.
He said: “Proper insulation can make a real difference. As much as £1 in every £3 spent on heating bills is wasted in poorly-insulated homes.
“I’d also encourage people to make the market work for them by contacting their energy suppliers to see whether they qualify for a reduced tariff and find out what they provide to improve energy efficiency.
“Customers should shop around and consider switching their energy supplier as different firms offer different tariffs – average savings from switching are between £130 and £150.”