New Thermo-profiling splits homeowners into six different types by their relationship with their central heating
New research from Gocompare.com Energy reveals that Britain is a nation of "Thermostat Tinkerers" - constantly tweaking the thermostat to get the heating just right. However, 3% of homeowners admit to being "Tropical Hotties" with the temperature cranked up to 25 ºC, whatever the weather.
The findings come from a study commissioned by Gocompare.com Energy, which asked over 1,283 homeowners about their approach to managing their central heating.*
The research revealed six main "Thermo-profiles":
% of UK Homeowners
Constantly tweaking the thermostat to get it just right
Always secretly trying to turn the heating off or down
Hot-blooded types who swear "It's not even cold"
The thermostat stays on 20 degrees, whatever the weather
The only person in the house allowed to touch the thermostat
The thermostat stays over 25 degrees all year round
A fifth of those surveyed see themselves as a 'Thermostat Tinkerer' - constantly tweaking the thermostat to get the heating right; 11% were 'Sticklers' for keeping the central heating set at 20oC, whatever the weather, while 13% consider themselves to be 'Sabotage Experts' - always secretly trying to adjust the heating. A small number (6%) of homeowners confessed to being central heating 'Control Freaks' - not allowing anyone else in their household to touch the thermostat.
When it came to temperature, some like it hot with 3% describing themselves as 'Tropical Hotties' keeping their home at 25oC (77F) whatever the weather. Others (12%) preferred to think of themselves as hot-blooded 'Artic Adventurers' who didn't feel the cold at all.
According to the research, this winter the average household thermostat will be set at 20.6oC (69F), while quarter of homeowners will heat their homes to 22oC (71.6F) or above.
27% of homeowners say they adjust the thermostat throughout the day to how they feel most comfortable, while a little over a fifth (22%) tend to leave the heating at the same setting all through the winter. 23% have it switched on for set hours each day and then don't change them, while 5% said they have their heating on 24/7 once it's on. Just under a fifth (19%) turn the heating-up if they have guests visiting.
Ben Wilson spokesperson for Gocompare.com Energy said, "While we've had a bit of fun looking at different 'thermo-profiles' depending on how people use their thermostats - the high cost of winter energy bills, especially for those on a tight budget, can be no laughing matter. There are a number of simple, practical steps you can take to help keep your home warm without getting burnt by a big winter heating bill.
"According to the Energy Saving Trust**, ideally you should heat your home to the lowest comfortable temperature - typically between 18oC and 21oC. Turning your room thermostat down by one degree can give a potential saving of £80 to £85 a year. Thermostatic radiator valves let you different temperatures in different rooms. So, for example, you may wish to heat living rooms warmer than bedrooms.
"Rather than keeping your heating on constantly, set it to come on just before you get up and switch off after you've gone to bed. If it's very cold, rather than turning-up the thermostat, set the heating to come on a bit earlier and turn off later. Insulating and draught-proofing your will also help you to keep your home warm efficiently."
Ben continued, "Another effective way of reducing your energy bills is shop around to make sure you're not paying more than you need to for your gas and electricity. Currently, there're some competitive deals to be had. By simply switching gas and electricity suppliers you could reduce your energy bills - potentially by hundreds of pounds.
"Comparing tariffs and switching suppliers is quick and easy. It simply takes a few minutes to enter your details, which can easily be found on your last gas or electricity bill, and you could be £366*** better off."
Gocompare.com Energy's five-step guide to switching energy supplier:
Switching energy suppliers is straightforward and quick to do, particularly if you use a comparison website which will allow you to compare the tariffs offered by a range of suppliers.
1. Dig out your old electricity and gas bills - these contain information you will need to make the comparison including the name of your existing supplier, details of the tariff you are currently on and a record of your current energy usage. Energy prices are set regionally and some providers only serve certain areas, so you'll also need your postcode.
2. Visit a comparison website and input your details, including your current energy consumption (which you should be able to find on your bill). If you're unable to lay your hands on an old energy bill calculations can be made on estimated usage.
3. When you've reviewed your options, and made your choice of supplier and tariff, you'll be asked to complete a short application form (e.g. name and address and bank details if you are paying by direct debit).
4. Your new supplier will contact you after the two week cooling off period with follow up information about your service switchover. During the switchover period, there should be no disruption to your energy supply. You won't need to contact your existing provider to end your contract - this will be done by your new supplier.
5. Once the transfer of your energy supply has been confirmed, you should ensure that the final payment to your previous provider has been made before cancelling any direct debits.
Gocompare.com has created a dedicated guide on how to save money on your gas and electricity bills.
Notes to editors:
*On 30 September 2016, 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.
**Energy Saving Trust: Typical savings for a typical three-bedroom semi-detached home, heated by gas. Figures are based on fuel prices as of March 2016.
***At least 51% of customers who received a price for switching energy supplier for both gas and electricity with Gocompare.com saved £366 or more (1st April - 30th June 2016).