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As Winter Looms, Britons Bank on Warming Hubs

Rising energy prices are forcing UK authorities to assemble a network of “warm banks” to offer relief from costly home heating bills. Here’s how they’ll work.

Smoke and steam rise from houses in London in January 2022.

Smoke and steam rise from houses in London in January 2022.

Photographer: Leon Neal/Getty Images Europe

The first rule for setting up a “warm bank”— a free heated indoor space for UK residents facing high energy bills this winter — is not to call it a warm bank.

The premise behind these spaces may be the same as that of a food bank, but term itself should be avoided, because of the potential stigma involved. “A warm space is a far more approachable place than a warm bank,” writes influential British moneysaving expert Martin Lewis, who commissioned and published a new British guide to setting up warming centers.