The return of energy rationing? 87% of households will ration energy in some way this winter

8th October 2014

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Some 87% of Britons will be rationing energy this winter due to worries about the high cost of fuel. Research of more than 1800 households by Gocompare.com reveals that  42% will heat their homes for less time than they would like this winter with    36% leaving rooms unheated this winter.

Half of households will leave it as long as possible before switching the heat on while a quarter will avoid using energy hungry devices like the tumble dryer. Nineteen per cent are worried about being able to pay the winter fuel bills.

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Millions of UK householders are shivering at the thought of how high this winter’s fuel bills could be – with 9 out of 10 saying they will be rationing energy use in some way in an attempt to keep bills down.  However, only 22% of those surveyed have switched energy supplier in the last 12 months to try and save money.

Some 16% said they will have to make cutbacks in other areas of their life – just to keep the heating on.  Almost one in five (17%) admitted to being cold last winter in a bid to keep fuel bills down.

Some 45% will turn down the thermostat to save energy or while 42% the heating on less time than they would like.

Other measures householders are planning to take in an effort to shrink their winter bills include:

Showering rather than taking a bath (31%);

Taking shorter showers than they would like to (13%);

Stopping or cutting back on their use of energy hungry devices such as tumble dryers and dishwashers (24%).

Meanwhile, 42% say they will be using more blankets and duvets around the house to keep warm and a third will be wearing socks in bed while 28% will use hot water bottles to keep warm and 11% will be sleeping in their dressing gowns.

Despite worrying about the cost of their winter bills and trying to find ways to cut their fuel consumption, only 22% of those surveyed had switched supplier in the last 12 months, while 29% haven’t switched for over three years.  A significant proportion of those who hadn’t shopped around for a better deal (41%) said they thought that it was ‘too much hassle’ to change provider, while one in ten were worried switching would interrupt their gas or electricity supply.

Jeremy Cryer, energy spokesperson at Gocompare.com, says: “Winter, the peak period for energy usage is fast approaching, so now is a good time to look at your fuel bills to see if you are getting a good deal or whether you could save money on your bills by simply switching suppliers or moving onto a fixed tariff.

“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 difference you’ll notice is the saving you’ll make and your new provider’s details at the top of your next bill.”

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