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23m households will ration their energy this winter*

13 November 2017

GoCompare calls on households to reduce the cost of their energy now by switching 

  • 85% of households will be forced to limit their energy use to save money**;
  • Home heating is a major area identified for energy cut-backs;
  • Only a fifth of people switched their energy supplier in last 12 months to get a better deal, while 12% admit to NEVER changing their energy supplier***;
  • Those who switch energy supplier for both gas and electricity could save £138****.

According to new research, 23 million households will be rationing their home energy use in a bid to save money this winter.

Commissioned by GoCompare Energy, the survey found that 85% of households plan to limit the amount of energy they use, potentially leaving their homes cold.

Steps homeowners plan to take include:

  • Turning the thermostat down (42%)
  • Delaying switching the heating on for as long as possible (40%)
  • Heating their homes for less time than they would like (37%)
  • Not heating unused rooms (31%)
  • Leaving the heating off for long periods of time (29%)
  • Taking a shower instead of a bath (29%) or a shorter shower than they would like (15%)
  •  Stop using or reduce the use of energy hungry devices such as a tumble dryer or dishwasher (20%)
  • Do less ironing (7%)

In a bid to keep the heating on, 13% of people say they will be forced to make cut-backs elsewhere, but nearly one in ten (9%) still say they will struggle to pay this winter’s fuel bills.

However, according to switching data sourced by GoCompare Energy, only a fifth of people have switched energy provider in the last 12 months to get a better deal; while 12% admit to NEVER changing their energy supplier.

Commenting on the research, Georgie Frost, head of consumer affairs at GoCompare, said: “Households understandably need to use more energy in the colder and darker days of autumn and winter. This means that the next five to six months will be the most expensive time of year for gas and electricity bills.  So it’s unsurprising that many people, especially those who’re already financially stretched, will be looking at ways to manage their energy use to try and keep a handle on costs.

“In the last year, we’ve seen price hikes from all the major energy suppliers, which is only going to compound the problem for many households.  Unless they act now, millions of people will be paying more for their energy than they need to.  That’s why, as winter approaches, we’re reminding people that one of the most effective measures they can take to reduce their bills is to switch.

“Despite the big energy companies putting up there standard variable rates, there are still plenty of competitive fixed tariff deals to be had – but only for those who shop around.  Switching energy suppliers is quick and easy, and the savings can be significant.  According to our figures, 51% of people who switch their gas and electricity supplier with GoCompare Energy shrink their annual bills by at least £138.

“And if you know someone – a friend, family member or neighbour, perhaps – who can’t or won’t get online to switch, take ten minutes to do it with them. It’ll be your good deed for the day, and they’ll thank you for it when they see how much money they get to keep in their pocket.    

For more information on how to save money on your gas and electricity bills visit: http://www.gocompare.com/gas-and-electricity/beginners-guide/

- ENDS -

Notes to editors:

*23m calculation based on: 85% of households who will take measures to reduce the amount of energy they use this winter; according to the ONS (2015) there are 28 million households in the UK. 85% of 28m is 23.8m.

**On 10 October 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,000 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

***On 1 August 2017, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 2,008 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists.  The margin of error-which measures sampling variability-is +/- 2.2%. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and regional data to ensure samples representative of the entire adult population of United Kingdom. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

****51% of Energy customers who received a price for switching both their gas and electricity saved £138.51 with GoCompare (1 July - 30 September 2017)