Taking steps to make winter bills more affordable

Brits are finding ways of saving money on fuel bills this winter to keep costs down.
Brits are finding ways of saving money on fuel bills this winter to keep costs down.
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Almost 23 million households (84 per cent) across the UK have taken steps to make their bills more affordable, according to new research.

Highlighting a nation of ‘sofa-eskimos’, more than two thirds (63 per cent) of Brits say they layer up at home with gloves, hats, scarfs and extra jumpers in an attempt to keep warm and reduce their fuel bills.

The research, from Santander, shows people are finding alternative ways to keep warm rather than turning up the thermostat. This includes drinking more hot drinks (33 per cent); getting into bed instead of sitting on the sofa (22 per cent), blocking off areas of the home (20 per cent) and using the oven to warm up (17 per cent).

Freezing temperatures have even driven three million Brits (six per cent) to spend more time than usual at work, simply because it’s warmer.

Matt Hall, director of banking at Santander, said: “As bills get more expensive in the winter months, our research shows households are being very resourceful and finding clever ways to reduce their overall expenditure.

“There are a multitude of methods to help manage and reduce bills. Households should check they have the best deal by comparing energy providers, look to take advantage of cashback and loyalty offers, and it’s often cheaper to pay by direct debit.”

Two thirds of households (62 per cent) expect to make significant lifestyle cut-backs within the next year in order to pay their energy bills.

These range from taking on a second job or extra hours (22 per cent) and sacrificing holidays (17 per cent) to cancelling TV subscriptions (15 per cent) and even downsizing their home (6 per cent). According to the bank’s research, the number of households resorting to these measures is on the rise, as just 42 per cent made these same sacrifices in the last 12 months.