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Two-thirds of UK households turning down the heat

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11/11/2008

Two-thirds of Britons are planning to turn down their heating this winter, according to Energy Helpline.

It reveals the lengths to which UK households are prepared to go to save money on fuel bills, with 57% of those surveyed also planning to put on an extra layer of clothing in an attempt to beat the cold this winter.

Despite this, the survey highlights that 98% of people are unaware they could save over £200 a year by switching energy suppliers. In addition, only 10% of respondents are planning to take up Government assistance to help insulate their home. This is the culmination of gas and electricity bills rising sharply in recent years. In fact, gas bills have almost trebled in the past six years.

Mark Todd, director at Energy Helpline, said: “With huge bills and recession, the UK is facing a heating crisis this winter the likes of which we may not have seen since the 1930s. All the major energy companies have refused to commit to any price drops this year and 18 million homes are now set to turn down their heating as they are worried that they will not be able to afford to pay their energy bills. That’s 40 million people living in colder conditions than last year or two thirds of the population.

“People don’t seem to understand there are other options – only one in 10 are planning to take advantage of the Government insulation assistance and only 2% realise they can save over £200 a year in a few minutes by switching suppliers. This is the state we are now in, Dickensian methods like turning down the heating can save money but they also carry with them risks of cold, flu and other ailments. Switching energy suppliers doesn’t contain the same risks of cold or flu and saves customers on average £225 a year.”

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