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Britain's weekly heatwave aircon bill hits £71 million – Up 75% since the energy crisis began

  • £71 million a week could be added to summer energy bills for the two million households with air conditioning units[1] – up 75% in two years[2]

  • Households will spend almost £3 million a week using desktop fans as the year’s first heatwave looks set to arrive[3]

  • Homes with air con units could save more than £56 a week by using a desktop fan instead[4]

  • The fall in the price cap means that the UK will save £260,000 a week powering fans and £6 million on air conditioning bills from 1 July[5]

  • offers hacks on how to stay cool during hot spells without increasing your bill.

The two million UK households with an air conditioning unit face a £71 million weekly energy bill as the year’s first heatwave hits[1] – with Brits set to spend nearly £3 million a week using desktop fans to keep cool[3], according to, the comparison service. 

The cost of keeping cool has risen more than 75% in the past two years as electricity prices have rocketed during the energy crisis[2].

For the almost four million households that use desktop fans, it costs 7p a week to run one for an hour a day, and 67p during hotter weeks when they are used nine hours a day[3]. 

Of the two million with air con, over 840,000 households have built-in units that can consume up to 2.7kW[6]. In a typical week, households use their units for almost three hours, but when temperatures are high, they use them for four hours 18 minutes on average during the day and four hours 48 minutes at night, sending the cost soaring from £2.43 a week to £56.76 a week[7]. 

Another one million homes have portable air conditioning units that use 1kW of power[6], using them for almost two hours a week at a cost of 66p. During hot spells, this bill rises to £21.02 a week. 

These households could save significant sums by using a desktop fan which uses 35W on average, just 1% of the power used by built-in air conditioning units, dramatically cutting energy bills. This means that air con users who switch to a desktop fan could reduce their energy bill by 99% — saving themselves £56 a week[2].

With the energy price cap falling to £2,074 a year for the average household, the cost of keeping cool will drop from 1 July. Running a 2.7kW air con unit for a week will go from £56.76 to £51.60 – a saving of more than £5. is offering tips and tricks for staying cool and saving energy. 

Uswitch’s five tips for keeping cool

  1. Create a cooling breeze: Place a bowl of ice cubes in front of an electric fan  to create a refreshing breeze as it blows the ice-cold air around the room.

  2. Close the curtains: Keep your curtains shut during the day. It may be tempting to let the light in, but the sunshine will heat the room, turning your home into a greenhouse. 

  3. Unplug the tech: The gadgets plugged in your home produce heat, including those that are on standby. Unplug them when you are not using them to keep the room cool. 

  4. Take advantage of the daylight: Switch the lights off during the day. Lightbulbs release heat causing a room to get warmer, so turning them off or switching to LED bulbs that give off less heat can help reduce the overall temperature. With the sun setting late in the evening during summer you can keep the lights off for longer and therefore keep the room cooler. 

  5. Use a hot water bottle: You don’t have to use a hot water bottle just to keep warm. Instead, you can fill it with cold water to keep you cool during the night. 

Natalie Mathie, energy expert at, comments: “Energy prices may be falling on July 1, but costs can still add up when trying to stay cool in a heatwave, especially if your air conditioning unit is running around the clock.

“Most people don’t need to rely on energy guzzling gadgets to keep cool as there are a few simple tricks you can use to keep the temperature down inside. 

“Keeping your curtains closed during the day will stop sunlight from warming up your home, while filling a hot water bottle with cold water can help keep you cool.”

To get switch ready, register to keep up to date with fixed deals news with Uswitch here.


Rianna York
Phone: 07817 083 280
Twitter: @UswitchPR

About Uswitch 

Uswitch is one of the UK’s top comparison websites for home services switching, including energy, broadband and mobiles. 

More people go to Uswitch to switch their energy, broadband and mobile than any other site, and we have saved consumers over £2.7 billion off their bills since we launched in September 2000.

Free mobile app Utrack also helps households manage their home energy usage and make potential savings. 

Uswitch is part of RVU, a group of online brands with a mission to empower consumers to make more confident home services, insurance and financial decisions.