What comes first. Your health or your heating? That’s the dilemma facing increasing numbers of homeowners in Britain who are choosing to stay cold rather than pay expensive bills to heat their homes, according to a new survey commissioned by energyhelpline.com.
In light of Britain’s cold harsh winters, it’s an ill advised choice. Certainly putting your health at risk of hypothermia sounds somewhat extreme. But for many people who simply can’t afford to pay soaring energy bills, it seems there’s very little choice.
1,800 adults took part in the natiowide survey, which provides a rather disturbing view into the mindset of hundreds of energy consumers across Britain. Almost 65% of those questioned said they wouldn’t turn on the heating or turn it up despite being cold. In the 16-24 year-old age group the figure rose to 76%.
Of all the people who responded to the poll, almost half said they were concerned about elderly relatives also being cold as a result of rising energy bills.
More and more people are suffering in their cold homes, and none more so than vulnerable pensioners. In the cold winter months many elderly people live in fear of their energy bills, and end up putting their health and their lives on the line. The World Health Organisation has calculated that 9,000 people died last year living in cold homes.
Commenting on the findings is Mark Todd, c0-founder of energyhelpline.com:
“This research paints a very stark picture of the real issues arising from years of sharp energy price rises and the UK’s poorly insulated homes. Clearly, millions of Britons are putting their health on the line as they fear that they cannot afford to heat their homes.”
The Government is attempting to tackle the problem of escalating fuel bills by helping vulnerable pensioners and low income families on certain benefits apply for a range of energy saving measures to keep homes warmer and bring down bills. Check to see if you qualify for a boiler replacement grant by visiting www.boilergrants.co.uk. Grants are also on offer to install cavity wall insulation and/or loft insulation through the Energy Company Obligation Affordable Warmth scheme.