Hard-up Brits forced to ration heating this winter


·         More than three quarters ‘worried’ about bills going up

·         80% will ration their heating as a result

·         60% will make cut backs to afford heating bills – including groceries, Christmas presents and social lives

·         More than a third have heat-related arguments at home

·         83% expecting to wear winter woollies at home


As the cold snap hits, a huge 80% of Brits admit they’re going to brave plummeting temperatures and ration their heating at home – all in a bid to keep costs down this winter.


A study of 2,000 adults, commissioned by Radflek (www.radflek.com), revealed we’re so fearful of soaring energy costs that two thirds of us will hold out as long as physically possible before switching on the heat. 


18-24 year olds will hold out the longest, with more than half waiting until ‘bitter’ and literally ‘freezing’ temperatures hit. What’s more, when we do eventually switch on, half of us will do so for fewer hours and at lower temperatures, whilst more than a third will only heat the rooms we use the most.


60% of us are also getting ready to make huge sacrifices to save our pennies and stay warm this winter. Of those, almost one in six will cut back on food, whilst others will forego personal luxuries – with 37% scaling back on social lives, 22% reining in holidays and 23% spending less on Christmas presents. Some even admitted they will cut back on everything, stating: “there’s not much left to cut back on.”


Tensions will also mount across UK households as the winter months unfold, with more than a third of us having regular arguments over the heating. Whilst a massive 83% think they will be wrapping up in winter woollies at home to take the edge off nippy rooms, more than a third admitted to sneaking the heating on without their partners’ and/or housemates’ permission – with 25-34 year olds being the worst offenders.


“This study shows the lengths squeezed Brits will go to, to keep warm for less – from rationing food to braving unbearably cold temperatures before turning the heating on,” says Radflek’s Managing Director Georgie Croft. “People even admitted to working in public buildings to avoid footing mounting heating bills.


“Whilst Brits are clearly prepared to go to the extreme to cut back and save this winter, many are still overlooking the small low-cost things around the home that can make a big difference. For example, just by draught-proofing windows and flooring, lining curtains, blocking unused chimneys or fitting Radflek reflectors behind radiators (so heat isn’t lost through the walls) – people could be staying snug for less.


“Surprisingly, only half of those surveyed believe their homes are efficient, which means we’re wasting valuable energy and effectively burning money unnecessarily. It pays to be prepared. This is why we’ve launched the #WinterWarmUp – a campaign to encourage people to prep their homes now for the colder months. Instead of switching off and suffering, we’re urging people to make small but effective changes in the home – so they can save money, cut energy use and importantly keep warm at home this winter.”


Top #WinterWarmUp tips to beat the chill & save:

·         Fit Radflek Radiator Reflectors: Radflek reflects an impressive 95%* of the wasted heat from behind your radiator back into the room – meaning homes stay cosy and you save money. Not only does it make the radiator more efficient so your room heats up quicker, it also stops heat escaping through the wall behind the radiator – reducing wasted warmth by an impressive 45%*. Radflek is available to buy from www.radflek.com and selected Robert Dyas stores.


·         Draught-proof air leaks: Avoid wasting heat and letting in too much cold air by draught-proofing your home. For windows and doors, use draught-proof strips around the frame. Doors can also benefit from a brush seal or hinged-flap draught excluder at the bottom. Watch out for draughty floorboards too – block any cracks using flexible fillers or caulk – or even consider a thick rug.


·         Line your curtains: This is another effective way to stop heat being lost through windows. You can line them yourself with thermal materials, such as low-cost fleece. Whilst curtains should be kept shut at night to conserve heat, let the sunlight in during the day, so you benefit from the free natural warmth of the sun.


·         Block unused chimneys: Unused chimneys will suck the warm air out of a room and create draughts. Block them with a chimney draught excluder or woollen insulator – but remember to remove it before lighting any fires.


·         Bleed your radiators: As well as fitting radiator reflectors, it’s important to make sure your radiators are working as efficiently as possible from the start. Trapped air or gas prevents hot water from heating your radiator properly, so make sure you bleed them regularly using a radiator key. 

Join in the #winterwarmup conversation on Twitter @Radflek and Facebook (Radflek).