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13.2 million* homeowners will have to ration their energy use this winter

20 October 2015
  • 12% of homeowners are worried about paying this winter's fuel bills;
  • 53% of homeowners haven't switched energy supplier for over three years;
  • Active energy shoppers could save £291** on their utility bills.

New research reveals that 78% of UK homeowners will take measures to reduce the amount of energy they use this winter, including delaying switching the heating on, leaving rooms unheated and leaving energy-hungry devices unused. But, over half (53%) of those surveyed haven't switched their energy supplier for over three years.
The survey of over 1,300 homeowners commissioned by Gocompare.com Energy found that 12% of those surveyed are worried about how they will pay for this winter's fuel bills.  One in ten say they will have to make cut-backs elsewhere to stay warm, while 11% admitted that they were cold last winter trying to keep bills down.
Well over a third (36%) of homeowners say they will have to actively manage the amount of heating they use this winter, with one in ten saying they will have to make cut backs elsewhere to keep the heating on.  Despite this, over half (56%) of those surveyed haven't changed energy provider for over three years, missing out on potential savings of £291** on their gas and electricity bills.    
Measures homeowners plan to take to reduce their energy use this winter include:

  • Leaving it as long as possible before turning on the central heating (42%);
  • 40% will turn down the thermostat in a bid to save energy;
  • 32% will heat their homes for less time than they would like;
  • Not heating unused rooms (31%);
  • Nearly a fifth (19%) will stop using energy-hungry devices such as a tumble dryer.

The survey also revealed that many homeowners will be donning extra layers and using blankets around the house in a bid to keep warm this winter:

  • 36% plan to snuggle under blankets and duvets around the house;
  • 28% will wear socks to bed;
  • 27% will use a hot water bottle;
  • 13% will wear thermal underwear.  

Gocompare.com energy spokesman, Tom Lewis, commented: "The winter months are a peak period for energy usage and, as a consequence, higher fuel bills, so now's a good time to look at your fuel bills to make sure you're getting a good deal.  There are some very competitive energy deals currently on the market and simply switching suppliers could make a big difference for many people this winter.   
"Comparison sites like Gocompare.com enable you to quickly and easily compare the deals currently available, and the savings can be substantial.  It only takes a few minutes to enter your details - which can easily be found on your last gas or electricity bill - and find the right tariff for you.  Once you've made the switch, your energy supply continues uninterrupted, the only real difference you'll notice is the saving you'll make and your new provider's logo at the top of your next bill." 
Typically, Gocompare.com customers save up to £291** on their dual fuel bills by switching tariffs.
Gocompare.com have created a guide to help you save money on your gas and elctricity.


Notes to editors:

*13.2m calculation based on: 78% of homeowners who will take measures to reduce the amount of energy they use this winter; according to the ONS (2012) there are 26.4 million households in the UK of which 64% (16.9m) are owner-occupied as opposed to rented. 78% of 16.9m is 13.2m.

** At least 51% of customers who provided their energy usage and received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity with Gocompare.com saved £291 or more. (1st April - 30th June 2015)

On 18th September 2015, Bilendi conducted an online survey among 1,302 randomly selected British adults who are Maximiles UK panelists and homeowners. 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.