Research carried out by uSwitch has revealed that 73% of British homes turned off their heating at some point this winter to cut their energy bills. One in four (23%) respondents admitted to cutting their heating frequently.
More than a third added that in their opinion, turning the heating off had negatively affected their health or quality of life.
The findings come as we near the end of Big Energy Saving Week, an event run by Citizens Advice, aimed at helping people cut down their energy consumption.
Eight in ten have tried to cut down energy use this winter
The past three months have seen almost eight in ten households ration their energy use in an attempt to keep mounting energy bills under control. Despite this, 85% remain worried about what their bills will amount to.
This growing concern over gas and electricity prices means nine in ten respondents always consider cost before turning the heating on.
Only 15% of people think energy is affordable in Britain.
What are people doing to keep warm instead of turning up the heating?
|Dressing in more layers||80%|
|Wrapping up in a blanket while sitting down||57%|
|Drinking hot drinks||50%|
|Using an extra duvet in bed||49%|
|Doing housework/cleaning or some other activity||43%|
|Left the oven door open after cooking||42%|
|Used only one or two rooms||35%|
‘Beggars belief’ that Brits are going cold
Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch, said: “It simply beggars belief that in 2014 people in Britain are going cold because they can’t afford to have their heating on. Keeping warm is not a luxury, it’s a necessity, and severely rationing energy use can have serious consequences for health and well-being.
“The tragic fact is that consumers just aren’t coping with the high cost of energy today. The situation is getting worse year on year and far more needs to be done by the Government and suppliers to make affordability a priority and to support consumers in taking the right steps to cut their bills.
“Rather than compromising on their health, I would urge consumers to follow the two golden rules to lowering household energy bills. The first is to ensure their home is as energy efficient as possible so that they aren’t wasting energy, and the second is to pay as little as possible for what they do use by switching to the cheapest tariff for their needs.”