Although temperatures are yet to drop, the worry has already begun for two thirds of Brits. A recent study by Currys revealed that 66% of Brits are worried about heating their homes this winter.
Energy prices started to rise exponentially in late 2021 and have risen multiple times since. These rises have impacted most households across the UK with 69% claiming that they have impacted their disposable income.
This has meant that UK households have had to make home and lifestyle changes to cut costs. According to the study, the biggest change Brits have made is using their appliances less, a habit 66% have admitted to adopting post-price hike. In second place is washing clothes at a lower temperature with 62% reporting that they did so, and in third place 61% of those asked are turning down their thermostat.
Although all these steps are positive ones from an eco-friendliness point of view, 18% of respondents are not planning on using their heating at all, which could have an impact on property condition and health of the residents.
When asked which living costs they were most worried about, 65% stated that it was their energy and heating costs which were the biggest cause of their financial anxiety.
Over 1 in 5 (22%) are paying £51-£100 more a month on energy bills. This is equal to paying £612 to £1200 more a year.
Despite taking on energy saving habits, over half of Brits have had to make lifestyle sacrifices in order to pay their energy bills, and the biggest sacrifice being made is food.
When asked about which lifestyle sacrifices they have made to cut costs, 68% said they are eating out less, 63% are cutting down on takeaways and 54% have switched to buying non-branded groceries. One respondent commented that they are “Not eating full stop, only eating one meal a day, [and] walking miles instead of paying bus fare.”
Other sacrifices include reducing clothing purchases (60%), socialising less (51%) and stopping memberships such as the gym and clubs (17%).
And the impact? 46% said that their mental health has been negatively impacted by energy price rises, likely not helped by giving up little luxuries.