According to a recent survey by uSwitch.com, this winter many householders are cranking up their heating to summer temperatures, wasting energy and increasing fuel bills.
“The figures are staggering. This latest research suggests 11 million Britons will overheat their homes this winter, together adding at least £1.4 billion to annual energy bills. This is a wake-up call to just how much energy is being wasted in homes up and down the country,” says managing director, Peter Thom of Green Heat.
“According to the survey, 25% of consumers in the region of East Anglia will turn up their thermostats to above 21°C – higher than the average June temperatures of Barcelona.
“These are worrying statistics,” added Peter. “Many people wrongly believe that turning up the temperature setting when it’s colder outside will heat up their home quicker – this survey found that more than half of people are doing this. But this just wastes energy and will hike up your fuel bill. The house will heat up to the set temperature; this might take a little longer on colder days, but turning that dial is a costly and unnecessary move. Moving it up by just 1°C can increase your energy bill by ten per cent, which could mean an extra £60 a year.”
The Energy Saving Trust (EST) recommends homes should be heated at between 18°C and 21°C. Turning up the thermostat by just 1°c not only adds a significant cost to fuel bills, it also increases carbon emissions which have a major impact on climate change.
At the other end of the scale, new figures suggest more than half of UK adults, the equivalent to 32 million people,, plan to ration their heating in a bid to cut fuel bills. With predictions of the coldest winter for 50 years, this could put the health of many, particularly more vulnerable people, at risk.
“Fuel poverty is a major problem in this country, especially among those living in rented accommodation, who are often on low incomes and more vulnerable,” said Peter.
“Many are paying much higher bills in an attempt to keep heat-leaking properties warm and suffering poor health as a result of draughty, damp living conditions.
“Making sure homes are well-insulated and have a regularly-serviced, efficient heating system will avoid wasting energy, keep occupants warm and fuel bills down.
“British homes are among the oldest and least energy-efficient properties in Europe. They are often draughty and poorly insulated and will lose even more heat in the windy weather we’ve been experiencing. These are a huge cost to household budgets, as well as to the environment and our wellbeing. By making a few simple changes, homeowners can enjoy a warmer home that is significantly cheaper to run and heated safely, while also knowing they’re helping to protect our planet.
“The EST estimates draught-proofing your home can save up to £50 on your annual heating bill4. This is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways to keep warm air inside, saving both energy and money.
“84% of energy used in the home is from heating and hot water, which accounts for about 70% of domestic carbon emissions. So it makes sense to provide this in the most efficient way possible.”