A study, carried out by ComRes for Circle Housing, found that close to three million adults (7%) are expecting to turn off their heating completely over Christmas, in a bid to save money.
An additional six million respondents said they are planning to use a credit or loan product to help pay for Christmas expenses. Of these, a quarter said the loan would be used to cover energy costs.
‘High number of people resorting to drastic measures’
Head of Energy and Green strategy at Circle Housing, Helen Wilson, commented: “We are worried that with millions already struggling to heat their homes, there are a high number of people resorting to drastic measures such as payday lenders or turning their heating off so that they can afford their energy bills.
“We would urge anybody who is worried about paying their bills to get advice about other ways they can save on their energy bills and to contact their energy supplier if they are worried about getting in to debt.”
Cheap energy plans currently available
At present there are a number of sub-£1,000 plans on the market and households which switch energy with uSwitch are saving up to £412 per year*. In addition, there are a wide range of energy saving tips which consumers can implement to slash their bills.
The cheapest plan currently available, is Extra Energy’s Merry Christmas Fixed Price Jan 2016, which will cost the average user £951 per year and carries £25 per fuel cancellation fees. Joint first is First Utility’s iSave Fixed March 2016 plan which also costs £951 and carries £30 per fuel exit fees.
If you’re after excellent customer service, OVO Energy recently won the uSwitch Energy Awards 2014. The independent supplier’s Better Energy (all online) tariff costs £973 and carries £30 per fuel exit fees.
*Between 1st June 2014 and 30th November 2014, at least 10% of people who switched energy supplier for both gas and electricity with uSwitch.com saved £412 or more.