Are you worried about the cost of heating?

03 December 2015

As winter draws in, a Saga survey shows half of the over-50s are worried about the cost of heating and one in five will struggle to pay their energy bills.

As temperatures take a noticeable dip many over-50s are taking desperate measures in order to meet the cost of heating their home this winter. 

One in five said they will struggle to pay their bills and one in ten (9%) said they would have to go to bed earlier and get up later in order to avoid putting their heating on.

Compared to the same period last year, energy prices have remained relatively stable. Despite this, over half of over-50s are concerned about the cost of energy this winter and a worrying one in five (19%) believe that they will genuinely struggle to pay their bills, with those in the North East, Scotland and Wales showing the most concern.

Seven ways to save money at the supermarket.

Keeping warm

When asked what other measures they would have to take to ensure they can afford to keep warm in winter:

  • Three in five over 50s said they would have to wear extra clothing or only put the heating on at certain times of the day in order to economise (61% and 60% respectively). 

  • Almost a third (30%) said that they would not heat as many rooms and for a shocking one in eight parts of their homes will become no go areas once the chill sets in. 

  • One in ten would go to bed earlier and get up later, one in ten also said that they would only put their heating on as a last resort.

Lisa Harris, head of communications for Saga, said “Keeping warm in winter is not a luxury it’s essential for many to keep fit and well over the winter months. People shouldn’t be afraid of putting the heating on, but one in ten to admit that they would only put their heating on as a last resort. However there are often lots of relatively simple measures that people can take to help keep control of their energy bills.”

Top 10 energy myths busted.

Energy saving tips

As well as getting onto the cheapest tariff possible, we have some tips for helping people find ways in which they can save energy around the home and to cut bills.

1. Use draught excluders, well-lined curtains and make sure windows are properly sealed to stop heat escaping through cracks and gaps around doors and windows.

2. Set your central heating timer correctly. Fix the heating to come on for a couple of hours when you wake up to make those chilly morning showers much more bearable, and then for a couple of hours again in the evening. Don’t waste money by having the heating on during the day when no-one is reaping the benefits.

3. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it can save you up to £250 on your energy bills each year. 

4. Approximately a third of all heat lost in an uninsulated home is through the walls, so insulating them properly could save you up to £460 a year on your energy bills.  t

5. Turn off lights, TVs, phone chargers and games consoles, when not in use. Gadgets and appliances left on stand-by still consume electricity. Off means off.

For more useful money saving tips, browse our money articles

Infographic that shows how the over-50s plan to use their heating this winter

The opinions expressed are those of the author and are not held by Saga unless specifically stated.

The material is for general information only and does not constitute investment, tax, legal, medical or other form of advice. You should not rely on this information to make (or refrain from making) any decisions. Always obtain independent, professional advice for your own particular situation.