Half of Brits would rather freeze this winter than burn money on pricey heating bills, study finds

ALMOST half of Brits would rather stay cold this winter than burn money on heating, a study has found.

Four in 10 admitted they cannot afford to spend a penny more for their gas and electricity as this year’s cold spell swoops in.

Almost half of Brits would rather stay cold this winter than burn money on heating (stock image)


Almost half of Brits would rather stay cold this winter than burn money on heating (stock image)Credit: Getty

Meanwhile, 46 per cent admit to keeping their radiators off “for as long as possible” to cut bills and reduce their use of power.

Research also revealed almost 70 per cent of UK adults choose layering up with a jumper to avoid turning on the heating.

And millions of other households strive to reduce their energy use by switching off gadgets – including the TV and games consoles – a poll of 2,000 people from across the nation showed.

Droves of others take shorter showers, install draught excluders and ban baths and even toilet flushing in their fight to conserve resources.

The study on bill costs – commissioned by Equity Release Supermarket – also showed 25 per cent of Brits changed their energy provider in the last six months after shopping around suppliers.

Mark Gregory, founder and CEO of Equity Release Supermarket, said: “Britain is in the grip of a spiralling energy crisis due to suppliers collapsing and households are facing massive living cost rises, with inflation set to soar next year.

“Householders are clearly feeling the strain of it all, with millions of them going to great lengths to reduce energy bills, and climate change warnings also obviously having a knock-on effect on their choices to conserve resources wherever they can.

“But while conservation is key, it is imperative Brits do everything they can to ensure they have enough to cover their energy bills and stay warm and healthy this winter – especially the elderly, and especially amid Covid.”

The study found 12 per cent of the nation pay £121 or more on their monthly energy bills, while another 12 per cent paid up to £70.

More than half, 56 per cent, said they don’t object to paying more for heat and light in winter – but a bill increase higher than 24 per cent would be deemed ‘too much’.

Nearly three quarters of those polled said they had noticed their energy costs swelling since June.


1) Put on a jumper

2) Wrap up in a blanket

3) Turn off lights

4) Buy a draught excluder for the door

5) Huddle together with family for warmth

6) Exercise / get family and housemates to do the same

7) Watch less TV / persuade family / housemates to do the same

8) Game less / get family / housemates to do the same

9) Gather round a candle

10) Switch off appliances at mains when they aren’t in use

11) Stop running the tap while brushing teeth

12) Switch energy providers

13) Have shorter showers

14) Install double glazing

15) Get a smart meter

16) Stop leaving phones on charge overnight

17) Stop taking baths

18) Stop flushing toilets

19) Charge appliances at work

20) Shower at work / gym

And the same percentage admitted they feared their power bills would keep rocketing until spring.

Almost 70 per cent declared their energy bills are too high, with energy use proving to be a major source of rows in millions of the nation’s homes.

While 17 per cent of respondents said they “often” disagreed with their children about how much power they get through, according to the data.

More than two in 10 admitted to fighting with others in their house about having the heating on or cranked up ‘too high’ in winter.

Almost a fifth declared they are ‘very worried’ about being able to pay their energy bills this winter, with 38 per cent “somewhat” anxious about the cost.

More than half said it was easier than they thought to switch their energy provider and only eight per cent claimed they wouldn’t take any measures to avoid turning on the heating.

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