38 Per Cent of UK Population Concerned About Heating Bills

5 September 2013

More than one in three people in the UK are concerned about the cost of their heating bill, a recent survey has discovered.

38% of residents questioned said that they were worried about whether they could afford to pay their fuel bill in the wake of increasing energy costs and projected colder temperatures.

The news comes as the Government continues to move forward with its energy efficiency initiatives, the Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO), in an attempt to plug the UK's energy-leaking housing stock.

The survey, conducted by ComRes on behalf of BBC Radio 5 Live, polled 1,035 UK residents between 30 August and 1 September. The findings showed that the cost of energy is a priority worry for many across the UK.

According to the survey, 63% of those questioned had cut energy usage because of the rising price of fuel while 25% had put up with ‘unacceptably cold’ homes in the past year.

The Government's latest energy efficiency schemes have been designed to aid households in cutting the cost of their energy bill and avoiding having to put up with the cold.

Under the Green Deal, households can take out a loan to pay for energy efficient home improvements such as Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation in addition to more than 40 other measures. The scheme is unique in that the loan is repaid via a property's energy bill, with the level of repayment not exceeding the sum of savings made by installing the measure in the first place.

The Energy Company Obligation also offers financial assistance to those looking to add measures such as Cavity Wall Insulation and Loft Insulation. ECO however targets those most at risk of fuel poverty, including those in financial hardship. An ECO grant is available in which these improvements can be made without repayment.

Whilst initial uptake has been slow for the Green Deal, ECO has already benefited more than 100,000 properties. The Government is hoping that even more households will take advantage of the schemes.

The Radio 5 Live survey also found that 84% of those questioned would welcome an increase in renewable energy sources, including solar heating, while 67% would support the creation of more coal, oil and gas stations in the UK. With fossil fuel levels dwindling, the latter is unlikely.

Furthermore, 69% of those questioned believed that UK energy costs were ‘unreasonable’, with many calling for nationalisation of the industry.

The survey was carried out in advance of BBC Radio 5 Live's ‘Energy Day’, which saw DJs Dominic Laurie, Peter Allen and Nicky Campbell create their own energy by pedalling specially designed bicycles.

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