We are currently living in unprecedented times, with the coronavirus outbreak affecting all of us. Many people who are vulnerable and have underlying health conditions are self-isolating, as are those who have the symptoms of COVID-19 and their families, and others who have been exposed to people with the illness or who are suspected to have it. The rest of us are being encouraged to practise social distancing in order to slow the spread of the virus. But what is the advice for households during the coronavirus crisis? Clever Energy Boilers has compiled some helpful tips to guide you through this strange period.
How to Deal With Energy Bills and Other Expenses During the Coronavirus Crisis
One problem many families face during this extended period of social distancing is that work has dried up, or that sick pay is not enough to cover the household bills. Many employers are taking advantage of the Job Retention Scheme, which will pay 80% of employees’ wages up to £2,500 per person if there is no work to be done. However, this does not cover the self-employed and there is a real risk that some businesses will have to shut down due to lack of demand.
For energy bills, a comprehensive package has been agreed with the power companies that guarantees people will not have their supply cut if they fall behind with payments. They have pledged to support those who are struggling to pay and measures are being put in place for anyone who can’t get out to top up a prepayment metre.
Other energy customers might be allowed to reduce their regular payments in order to help balance their finances. Once again, the bills will need to be paid eventually, but this measure will see many people through this difficult time. If you want to know how your energy company can help you, contact them and explain your situation.
There are some other steps that you can take to save money if you need to, though. Many banks are offering extensions to overdrafts and credit card limits, while mortgage lenders are allowing payment holidays. These are not permanent solutions, and all will need to be paid off eventually, but they could offer some leeway for cash-strapped workers.
Boiler Replacement and Maintenance During the Coronavirus Crisis
At Clever Energy Boilers, we are closely following the latest advice from the government and the World Health Organization. The health and wellbeing of our staff, customers and the communities we serve is of paramount importance. We will continue to perform boiler maintenance, boiler breakdown services and boiler replacements during this difficult time, adhering to the latest health and safety information available.
The last thing you need is to be without hot water and central heating, particularly when you are spending so much time at home, and so we feel it is in the best interests of our customers to continue with a ‘business as usual’ approach.
If you need any boiler related service, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team on 0330 055 2210.
What Should Households Do During the Coronavirus Outbreak?
The government has ordered people to stay at home other than to go shopping for essentials, to perform exercise once a day for medical needs or to go to work if there is no possibility of doing that at home. We have been told not to have visitors at home and not to visit other people’s homes. Of course, the schools have closed to most children across the UK, with only the children of key workers and the most vulnerable youngsters attending
Within your household, the NHS suggests:
- Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, more often than usual.
- Using hand sanitizer if you can’t get to soap and water.
- Cover your nose and mouth with your arm or sleeve (not your hand) if you cough or sneeze.
- Put used tissues in the bin immediately after using them and wash your hands thoroughly.
- Regularly clean the household items and surfaces you use most often. These might include the kettle, doorknobs, TV remote controls and so on.
What to Do if There Are Symptoms in Your House
If you develop the most common coronavirus symptoms, a new continuous cough and/or a high temperature, you must self-isolate for seven days. If you live with others, they must self-isolate for 14 days from the time you first felt the symptoms.
What to Do About Supplies During the Coronavirus Outbreak
If you are self-isolating due to there being symptoms in your home or because you are part of a vulnerable group (the over 70s or those with underlying health conditions), you are asked not to leave the home, even to pick up supplies. You are encouraged to ask for help from friends or family, who should drop off shopping and medicine outside your home for you to bring inside once they are at a safe distance.
If this is not possible, there are many community organisations across the country who are working hard to make sure households receive adequate food and medical supplies. In the first instance, call your local council or authority who are likely to be coordinating activities. You may also find more information on local Facebook groups.
The supermarkets are dealing with huge demand at the moment, but have stressed that they can keep up with it and are restocking shelves as quickly as they can. You may find it difficult to book in a home delivery slot and some supermarkets are prioritising the elderly for this service, which is entirely understandable.
We will update this information if there are any developments over the coming weeks and months and we hope that you and your family stay safe.