Residents across Cumbria who rely on liquid fuel to heat their homes are being encouraged to prepare for the winter now in light of the continued Covid-19 pandemic.

The UK and Ireland Fuel Distributors Association (UKIFDA), the industry body representing liquid fuel distributors, has launched a new campaign, "Get Winter Ready", encouraging those who heat their homes "off grid" to prepare for the winter months in plenty of time.

Guy Pulham, the UKIFDA's chief executive, warned that if a second wave of Covid-19 materialises this winter, it is likely to place significant pressure on the nation's supply chain.

“Our Get Winter Ready campaign urges the 18,761 heating oil customers across Cumbria to order their oil early," Mr Pulham said.

"The Covid-19 pandemic means it is even more crucial to order ahead of winter as a second wave of coronavirus would increase the pressure on the supply chain and at the time of year when pressure is already high."

The campaign was launched last week, the same week in which campaign group National Energy Action held "Warm Homes Week", an annual event to highlight the challenges and solutions involved with tackling cold homes and ending fuel poverty.

“This year we also felt it poignant to launch during NEA’s Warm Homes Week," Mr Pulham said.

"The key strands of the NEA Warm Homes week – tackling cold homes, ending fuel poverty and examining a just transition to net zero [carbon emissions] are also key issues UKIFDA and its members are passionate about which is why we’ve decided to kickstart our ‘Get Winter Ready’ messaging alongside NEA’s Warm Homes Week this year."

“As part of its industry transition to Net Zero, UKIFDA is lobbying government to include liquid biofuels in future energy policy for off grid homes which is supported by the recent Future Energy Scenarios report from National Grid which states "For rural areas, the switch to decarbonisation is harder as there is no one obvious solution for homes on either oil, solid fuel, or LPG. Heat pumps can work, if the home is well insulated and importantly, if it is cost effective to upgrade the local electricity network to cope with the increase in peak demand. However, this is often not the case, so we’ve assumed that biofuels will be available for some rural homes.”

UKIFDA Membership and Events Manager Dawn Shakespeare comments: “As part of our Get Winter Ready campaign we also want to encourage more over 75’s to join their local UKIFDA fuel suppliers’ Cold Weather Priority scheme which enables UKIFDA members to identify vulnerable customers and prioritise deliveries in winter to those who need it most.

"We urge anyone aged 75 and over to add themselves to the scheme if they haven’t already done so – it’s a free service and we want as many eligible customers as possible to sign up before winter.”

To find out more about the Get Winter Ready campaign, advice on energy efficiency, the transition to biofuels, the cold weather priority scheme or to order heating oil, visit