As the UK braces itself for the lowest temperatures recorded in October for almost 20 years, householders are apparently planning to cut back on their central heating spending.
According to research undertaken by uSwitch.com, more than 60 per cent of households in the UK are concerned about the cost of their energy bills as wintry weather begins to take hold of Britain. The research also claims 20 per cent of domestic energy consumers are already struggling to pay their bills, which ought to come as no surprise to charities and energy watchdogs that have sounded concerns over the UK’s growing plight of fuel poverty for the past few years.
The recession continues to bite households throughout the UK and, following some of the most aggressive and widespread public spending cuts ever announced by a British Government, the economy is unlikely to emerge unscathed from another bitterly cold winter. The uSwitch.com research further reveals that 73 per cent (approximately 19 million households) have already made steps – or intend to do so shortly – to cut back on their energy consumption in an effort to lower their bills.
The natural response to the uSwitch.com research might be one of doom and gloom; indeed, nobody ought to feel the need to cut back on heating ahead of winter. Ann Robinson, the Director of Consumer Policy at uSwitch.com, however, believes the findings could prove a blessing in disguise.
Ms Robinson said: “In some ways it has acted as a force for good, encouraging people to make their homes more energy efficient in time for this winter. But it isn’t all positive news and the big concern is for those who have been left behind, who cannot afford to make their homes energy efficient and who look set to face another winter of self-rationing to stop their fuel bills going through the roof”.
Ms Robinson also advised: “Before cutting back on energy usage, I would urge consumers to speak to their energy supplier about the help they could get with energy efficiency and to then ensure that they are paying as little as possible for the energy they use by moving to a more competitive energy plan”.