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Gas consumption rises 65% as cold weather hits Britain

Survey reveals energy use is 15% higher than at this point last year, as Brits struggle to adapt to lower temperatures

cold winter heater and mug

Brits consumed 65% more energy over the cold weekend

Research carried out by energy giant npower highlighted a 65% rise in energy consumption over the past weekend.

The energy company has suggested that Brits felt the urge to turn up their thermostats in an attempt to cling to memories of the summer’s heat wave. This is despite a very minor decrease in temperature of 0.25C, compared to this point last year.

npower expects energy consumption to fall back in line by the end of this week and surge again in October.

‘Big switch-on’ expected in mid to late October

Spokesperson for npower Patrick Purcell said: “What we’re seeing is people turning their heating on for short blasts for an extra bit of comfort, as night-time temperatures drop.

“Looking at previous years, the weather forecast and listening to what our customers are saying, we wouldn’t expect to see the big switch-on until mid to late October.”

Simon Stacey, managing director of energy services, added: “We’ve had such an amazing summer, but because it’s been so good with hot, sunny weather for months, now that it’s dropped off a little people think it’s colder than it really is.

“We understand that winter is an expensive time for our customers and there are some simple ways to get ready now, before the real cold weather sets in.”

Price rises expected in coming weeks

Energy companies are expected to announce price rises of up to £142 per year in the run up to winter. The news will not be well received by customers bracing themselves for a drop in temperature.

Those looking to protect themselves from potential bill increases can consider switching to a fixed price energy plan or simply looking at the various offers available at the moment.

As it stands, npower’s Price Protector March 2017 tariff, which is priced at £1341 per year for the average user, is the longest fixed price plan available on the market, followed by ScottishPower’s Help Beat Cancer Fixed Price Energy January 2017, which costs £1,350 and has a £25 per fuel exit fee.

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  • Tim

    Why didn’t you do an article entitled “Energy consumption falls 65%” the week after when the mild weather returned?

  • Furry1

    Schools set very narrow arrival windows, at start of day. When caught by surprise, with a car frosted up unexpectedly, the choice is between embarrassing your child (certainly) or having a ‘slight’ accident (only if it’s your unlucky day). Schools need to support parents to establish daily routines which – in normal conditions – deliver the children to school rather early.

    • goggleboxtech

      Not sure I follow you. Are you saying it is OK to have a ‘slight’ accident? Only mow down one or two of your child’s friends, you mean? How do you know how slight the accident will be if you drive into the vicinity of a school with obscured vision?
      But your comment about being ‘supported’ to arrive a bit early normally, suggests you meant something else. Isn’t leaving some time to allow for unexpected delays exactly what you should be doing? (And I know — when you have kids they are brilliant at delaying!) Surely it is up to you to establish your family’s routines. What do you need the school to do? Have staff on duty a bit earlier, perhaps? Why don’t you write to the headteacher? A longer window might reduce congestion around the entrance too. Better still, cycle or walk to school so your children arrived energised and ready to learn.

    • Chris Stocken

      You know what time you’re children must be at school!. If it’s 09:00 And you live 1.2 miles away , and its ice and snow outside, kick the lazy toe rags out half-hour earlier. And make them walk.

    • Geraint Wilcox

      Is knocking down a child a “slight” accident?