Nine out of 10 households plan to cut back on energy this winter to beat soaring costs


The vast majority of households in the UK are planning on cutting back on their energy usage this winter including heating their homes, according to a new survey

Millions of people are planning on cutting back on energy this winter

More than nine out of 10 households plan to cut back on energy this winter, despite the Government’s cost of living help package.

Nearly half said they expect to reduce their usage “a lot”, including heating their homes, a survey by consultants Retail Economics found.

Evidence that vast numbers of people are gearing up to make big changes this winter comes despite Chancellor Rishi Sunak announcing £15billion of measures to lessen the pain of soaring energy bills.

The help, including £400 for every household, is being offered as experts warn average bills could leap another £1,000 to £3,000 a year from October.

Meanwhile, households could be paid to use less electricity at peak times this winter to reduce the risk of blackouts.

Proposals from National Grid’s electricity system operator would reward households with smart meters for shifting the time at which they use power-hungry devices such as washing machines.

Rishi Sunak announced £15billion of measures
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REUTERS)

Data from Retail Economics found the average household had faced a 10.6% fall in their discretionary income in the
past year, leaving them with £127 less to spend per month on non-essential items.

Its chief executive, Richard Lim, said: “The cost of living continues to soar, hurting all households in Britain but particularly the most disadvantaged.

“After families have paid for all their essentials, the amount of spare cash left over to spend on days out, socializing and other treats is shrinking at an astonishing rate.”

It comes as a disabled woman has been left housebound as spiraling energy costs mean she can no longer afford to charge her electric wheelchair.

Millions of people will be scaling back this winter
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Image:

Getty Images/Eye Em)

Jade Cotton, who has cerebral palsy, epilepsy and scoliosis, said she was already dipping into the red and was borrowing money from relatives to pay the bills.

The 34-year-old, from Birmingham, has been struggling to cope after her electric bills shot up to unaffordable levels. New research has shown the cost of living crisis is hitting disabled people hard – with half of disabled households in the West Midlands plunged into debt.

Jade and her husband Andy have had to make use of their overdrafts and borrow money from family to meet their overheads. To further cut back on costs, the couple have been forced to stop charging Jade’s electric wheelchair overnight.

Jade said: “We hardly go out at all anymore.

“I have an electric wheelchair but I don’t charge it every night because we cannot afford it.

“We can’t go out like we used to – it has really impacted my mental health because I enjoy going out and meeting family. Despite going out less and trying to save money where we can, we’re still both in debt and we’ve had to borrow money off Andy’s parents to pay the electric bill.”

Last month, the Government announced a one-off disability cost of living payment of £150 to help disabled people cope with rocketing living costs – with those who fall into the lowest income bracket receiving an additional £650.

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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