84% of households cut back in an effort to reduce winter bills

11 Feb, 2016

Almost 23 million households (84 per cent) across the UK have taken steps to make their bills more affordable, according to new research from Santander.

Highlighting a nation of ‘sofa-eskimos’, more than two thirds 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.

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) are also common ways people avoid that extra notch on the thermostat. Freezing temperatures have even driven three million Brits (six per cent) to spend more time than usual at work, simply because it’s warmer.

A Spokesman for 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.

Lifestyle sacrifices

Looking ahead, two thirds (62 per cent) of households 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 (six 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.