An overwhelming majority of Brits are worried about the price of heating their homes this winter and 9 in 10 (89%) will be changing their home heating behaviour in some way as a result, research has found.
The survey of 2,000 UK homeowners, commissioned by industry association the Heating and Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC), found that 93% of respondents were worried about the price of heating this winter – a figure which rises to 96% in the West Midlands.
Further prompting concern, the survey has also revealed a third (34%) of Brits are ‘extremely worried’ about the cost of heating, and over half (57%) would not turn their heating on if they can’t afford it over the coming months.
The trade body have registered concern that worried Brits could be making costly mistakes by changing their heating behaviours in an attempt to save on bills. Over a third of respondents (36%) said they will only be turning on their heating when it is ‘absolutely freezing,’ while half will be using it sparingly.
The research also highlighted that over half of homeowners (57%) have their heating at 19OC or above during the winter, a temperature that could be more costly when it is freezing cold outside. If outside temperatures sink to the 2021 January average of 2.2oc, energy saving and efficiency measures can have a major impact.
This has prompted a warning from HHIC to homeowners to make sure they are taking all the measures this winter to best heat their homes, as Stewart Clements, the organisation’s Director, explains:
“The energy crisis has made everyone conscious of their heating habits and worries about affording bills are clearly making people question whether they can afford to heat their home. We want to make sure that people are heating their homes correctly and don’t fall into the trap of wasting energy through inefficient heating practices. For example, lowering the thermostat and heating the home as you would have normally done may reduce your energy consumption while ensuring your home reaches a comfortable temperature. Heating at a higher temperature for longer may be consuming lots of energy, yet you will not notice it heating your home.”
To support homeowners with making their homes more efficient the HHIC have released a guide Improving the Efficiency of Home Heating, which provides households with potential efficiency improvements. This includes efficiency measures for the home; to insulate and exclude draughts, adjustments to the thermostat to use gas more efficiently, and advice on servicing and maintenance to ensure it performs at peak efficiency.
Mr Clements continued: “The industry has a responsibility to protect consumers from the volatility of the energy markets as much as possible and so we have produced this guide to support consumers with reducing their consumption.
“We know this is not the silver bullet for ending the energy crisis and there is much work to be done by the Government and industry to provide better energy security for the UK and reduce bills for households.” The survey of 2000 UK homeowners was conducted in October 2022 by 3Gem Research & Insights on Behalf of the HHIC.