Nearly 13 million households in the UK are choosing to shiver through cold weather rather than switch on their heating due to mounting energy bill concerns, a recent survey by consumer watchdog Which? has highlighted.
Nearly 90% (85%) of households are grappling with financial strain due to soaring energy bills, prompting cutbacks in energy use and leaving many without heat during cold spells.
Last winter, almost half (46%) of those 4,000 surveyed admitted to keeping the heating off despite plummeting temperatures, representing an estimated 13 million households across the nation.
Economic disparities play a significant role, with households earning less than £20,000 annually far less likely (51%) to warm their homes compared to those earning over £80,000 (32%).
Additionally, people aged 45-64 are more prone to forgoing heating due to financial pressures, a demographic caught between dependents and pension ineligibility.
Which? has emphasised the urgency of implementing a social tariff – the watchdog also calls on energy companies to enhance customer support services, prioritise traditional prepayment customers in smart meter rollouts and ensure transparency in billing communications.