Elderly farmers in households with oil heating are being urged to sign up to a support scheme this winter.

Trade body, the UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA) is urging more oil heated households in the farming community aged 75 and over to sign up to its Cold Weather Priority scheme.

Originally launched in 2017, the scheme is industry-led.

“This scheme is effective and works because it enables our UKIFDA member suppliers to identify the most vulnerable individuals so they can then prioritise heating oil deliveries to them when needed,” explains chief executive Ken Cronin, UKIFDA.

“Now in its fifth year, the Cold Weather Priority scheme has enabled elderly consumers, who heat their homes using heating oil, to sign up for prioritised deliveries when there are supply shortages or extreme weather.

“We want more heating oil consumers in the farming community who are aged 75 and over to sign up to the scheme to ensure they stay warm throughout winter.”

The scheme has proved vital during the past few years, including when the Beast from the East struck in February 2018 and throughout the Covid pandemic in winter 2020.

Ken Cronin adds: “We were delighted with how well the initiative worked when Covid arrived – it really helped during the pandemic last winter as many UKIFDA Members extended the scheme to ensure the maximum number of consumers possible received the most help and were able to stay warm during this extremely difficult time.

“This winter, there is still the unknown pressure on the supply chain from Covid, making it just as important for consumers to join the scheme now if they haven’t already done so."

To find out more about visit ukifda.org/cold-weather-priority-initiative/