You are here: Home - Household Bills - News -

Thousands switch off heating in sub-zero weather to cut bills

Written by:
Rising prices have forced seven out of 10 households to go without heating this winter.
Thousands switch off heating in sub-zero weather to cut bills

According to, almost three quarters of households have cut down or rationed their energy use this winter because of the increased cost, with almost nine in ten now considering the cost before switching their heating on.

Ann Robinson, Director of Consumer Policy at, said: “When it comes to household energy Britain has run slap bang into an affordability crisis – as a result, people are going cold. The cost of energy is now so high that households are going without heating in the depths of winter for fear of running up a large bill.

“This severe level of rationing can have serious consequences – in fact over a third of consumers say that cutting back on energy is affecting their quality of life or health. This is unacceptable.

“The average household energy bill today is £1,352 a year. Grid upgrade costs and Government policies could see this increase to over £1,400 a year.

“At £1,500 a year we will see a majority of households going without adequate heating and almost four in ten forced to turn their heating off entirely – we are just a hair’s breadth away.”

uSwitch says that consumers may be facing yet more price hikes as the UK’s largest energy supplier, British Gas, has openly warned that the cost of upgrading the national grid along with Government policies could see bills increasing again this year by a further £60

The report highlighted that a £60 increase would take the average household energy bill to an unprecedented level of over £1,400 a year.

Recent research has identified an ‘energy affordability ceiling’ of £1,500 a year beyond which the majority of consumers will start to suffer. 

At this point almost six in ten households (59%) would be going without adequate heating and almost four in ten (36%) would be forced to turn their heating off entirely.

Robinson added: “With the cost of energy escalating, I would urge consumers to take two simple steps to protect themselves.

“Firstly, ensure that you are on the cheapest possible tariff. There is currently just under £250 a year difference between the cheapest and the most expensive deals on the market and as switching suppliers only takes three to five weeks to take effect, there’s still time to make substantial savings this winter.

“Secondly, now more than ever is the time to take energy efficiency and home insulation seriously. This is a safe way of cutting the amount of energy you use and those who need help and support with this should look at the Government’s recently launched Green Deal scheme.”

In recent months all of the ‘Big 6’ energy suppliers have increased their energy prices, some as high as 10.8% for gas and electricity, amid reports of an increase in fuel poverty as families struggle to keep up with increased prices and recent adverse weather conditions.

According to Legal & General, nearly 4.5m households across the country are in fuel poverty this month, making this a small rise since October last year.

The Government states that households who spend more than 10% of their income on gas and electricity are classified as in ‘fuel poverty’.

Tag Box

There are 0 Comment(s)

If you wish to comment without signing in, click your cursor in the top box and tick the 'Sign in as a guest' box at the bottom.

Could you save money with a social broadband tariff?

Two-thirds of low-income households are unaware they could be saving on broadband, according to Uswitch.

How to help others and donate to food banks this winter

This winter is expected to be the most challenging yet for the food bank network as soaring costs push more pe...

Your rights for refunds if travel is affected by strikes

There have been a wave of strikes this year across many different industries, and more are planned over Christ...

What will happen if rates change

How your finances will be impacted by a rise in interest rates.

Regular Savings Calculator

Small regular contributions can build up nicely over time.

Online Savings Calculator

Work out how your online savings can build over time.

DIY investors: 10 common mistakes to avoid

For those without the help and experience of an adviser, here are 10 common DIY investor mistakes to avoid.

Mortgage down-valuations: Tips to avoid pulling out of a house sale

Down-valuations are on the rise. So, what does it mean for home buyers, and what can you do?

Five tips for surviving a bear market mauling

The S&P 500 has slipped into bear market territory and for UK investors, the FTSE 250 is also on the edge. Her...

Money Tips of the Week