MORE STRUGGLING TO PAY WINTER HEATING BILLS AS LOCKDOWN 2.0 LOOMS.
With the economic damage of the lockdown in the spring/summer, and now the impending lockdown 2.0, those struggling to pay winter heating bills is set to dramatically increase.
Unemployment is soaring, and so is personal debt. Around this time last year approximately 80% of Brits cut back on regular outgoings in order to pay for their winter heating.
Last year around 38% of Brits worried that they would not be able to pay for their heating costs. That is a figure, which was up 80% on 2018. This year will no doubt obliterate any previous grim records set.
Cold Homes and Covid19 – The Perfect Storm.
Covid19 thrives in temperatures below 18c. This is a perfect, yet horrible storm for those in fuel poverty. Not only can those in poverty not heat their home sufficiently, because they can’t heat their home sufficiently they will be more at risk of Covid19. Furthermore, those working from home will need to spend more on heating as they will be at home in the day.
People are making sacrifices to ensure they can keep warm this winter, which include:
Spend less on shopping
Eating out less and having fewer takeaways
Fewer nights out (also due to various restrictions and lockdown)
Over 55’s are less likely to make cut backs to allow for heating costs, while 83% of young adults between the ages of 25 and 34 are prepared to make sacrifices.
There are a number of things you can do to lower your heating costs:
Switch providers – depending on your contract, you may make a saving by switching your gas/electricity to another provider.
The Department of Energy and Climate Change – suggest that using Direct Debit could possibly save you £90 on gas and £66 on electricity annually, compared to using standard credit.
You’re paying for heat loss – Don’t think of heating as a cost to warm a home, think of it as a cost to compensate for heat loss. The less heat loss you have, the less you have to pay. So ensure your home is as well insulated as possible.
Heating all rooms? – Chances are you don’t need to heat all rooms in your home. Lower costs by just heating one room or a few rooms you use. If you’re using gas/oil central heating, use the radiator valve in each unused room to shut off heating for that room. Using a high efficiency gas or electric fire, or wood burning stove in your living room, or whatever room you tend to spend most time in will help you save.
Think more efficiently – Getting into the habit of being more energy aware will save you untold sums of money. Untold as we can’t give you an exact figure. But it could be significant! Thinking more efficiently will include things like turning lights off in rooms you are not in, lowering your heating by 1 degree at a time, take shorter showers, layer clothes before turning the heating up. The list of things you can do is long….
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