Up to a third of households planning to switch off to save money on bills
A third of all UK adults are worried they will have to switch off this winter to reduce the cost of their utility bills, a report from Npower reveals.
This ‘heat or eat’ dilemma will face one million households this winter. Almost half of households will aim to cut down on heating, particularly those with children. Measures to cut down include having fewer hot showers and baths, or reducing the number of washes.
More than half (57%) of those surveyed said they were unaware of any financial help or advice being offered to those in difficulty. However, there are a number of schemes. Aside from the Winter Fuel Payment, which goes to everyone born before 1953, there is the Warm Home Discount Scheme, which gives you £140 off your electricity bill for winter 2017 to 2018 and those in receipt of certain benefits may also be eligible for the Cold Weather Payment.
Npower also has the Npower Foundation, an independent charity which aims to help those struggling to pay utility bills by expanding the Fuel Bank network more widely. The Fuel Bank provides a top-up voucher for approximately two weeks’ worth of fuel to clients with a prepayment meter and who have been deemed as in ‘crisis need’ by an independent Foodbank referrer.
Matthew Cole, Npower’s head of social energy and trustee of the Npower Foundation, said in addition to its £1m commitment to the Fuel Bank, it will also match the first public donations up to £50,000. The group estimates that the initiative has helped more than 70,000 people with prepayment meters, providing over £1m worth of emergency gas or electricity. Npower has committed £1m per year until 2020.