The British Heart Foundation (BHF) has released energy-saving tips to encourage people to stay warm this winter, which come at a crucial time as The Met Office extends the severe ice weather warning in the South West.

The BHF shared their tips to help households stay safe and cosy this winter, as rising energy bills affect families nationwide. The advice couldn’t come at a better time, as temperatures plummet dramatically in the South West and wider regions.

The Met Office have extended their warning against ice in the South West for a further 24 hours, which means the warning will have been active for 68 hours in total.

Temperatures have dropped dramatically in the last few days, decreasing to well below zero in many places. Parts of the South West has seen lows of -6C, and the Met Office has suggested that Kingsbridge and other local areas could also be seeing temperatures as low as this in the coming few days.

The Met Office said: "Cold weather is now established across the country. Very cold nights are expected over the weekend into the early part of next week, with widespread moderate, locally severe, frosts, and some freezing fog patches in places.

"Daytime temperatures will remain low, with some places struggling to rise above freezing, more especially where any fog patches linger. Wintry showers will continue to affect some coasts, pushing into some inland areas at times, bringing a risk of icy patches and slight accumulations of snow."

As people avoid the icy road and attempt to keep safe and warm inside, whilst navigating the energy crisis, the British Heart Foundation advice is available to assist households:

1. Layer up

The BHF say: “Wearing lots of layers, rather than one thick piece of clothing, is a smart way to keep warm in winter. Base layers such as thermal vests or long sleeve tops are fairly inexpensive and can work well to trap heat. Keep a look out for clothing made from wool, cotton or fleecy fabric.”

2. Keep draughts out and heat in

“Try and block any areas in your home that are particularly draughty, including around window frames, keyholes and under doors. Keep your curtains open in the day to let light and warmth in, and draw them before it gets dark to avoid losing heat.”

3. Be clever with heating

“If you're worried about the cost of electricity, be selective about how you heat your home. Try and keep the room where you spend most of your time, such as your living room or bedroom, heated to at least 18°C if you can. Remember to turn off the radiators in hallways or rooms that aren't being used, and close doors to trap heat in certain areas.

“Only heat areas of the house as you need them. For example, you might choose to turn the heating on in your bedroom just before bed. You can also use a hot water bottle or an electric blanket to keep you warm at night.”

4. Make warming food and drinks

“Eating a healthy balanced diet that includes at least five portions of fruit and vegetables per day can help your immune system to work well during winter. Have regular hot drinks and food such as porridge, soups and stews to keep yourself warm.

“Remember that frozen or tinned fruit and vegetables (if there’s no added salt or sugar) are just as healthy as fresh, and can be more affordable if they’re out of season in winter.

“If you're trying to keep your energy bill down, using a slow cooker, microwave, or air fryer could help you to reduce costs, compared to an oven-baked meal.”

5. Get moving

“Keep as active as possible to boost your circulation. Move around at least once an hour and avoid sitting still for long periods. Even light exercise will help keep you warm. When you do sit down, put your feet up as it’s coldest nearest the ground.”

6. Check what support you can get 

“You may be eligible for certain grants and benefits to help reduce the cost of your energy bill this winter.

• Visit Citizens Advice to find out more about available grants and benefits

• Learn more about Energy Bills Support Scheme in England, Scotland and Wales, or Northern Ireland

• Get more tips for eating well on a budget”

For more information about ways to eat well, stay active and access government grants, you can visit the British Heart Foundation website: