Nearly two-thirds of UK homes set their thermostat above 20°C to keep warm as the weather turns colder, but turning it down by just one degree could save each household up to £80 a year on energy bills.
An estimated 17.7 million households could save a total of £1.4bn by turning their home temperatures down by 1°C, according to new research by Uswitch.com.
While the average UK household is setting its thermostat to 20°C, the Committee on Climate Change recommends a thermostat temperature of 19°C, so taking the temperature down by just one degree could also help in the battle to combat climate change.
Some 2.7 million households are setting their thermostat to 25°C or higher — hotter than the current temperature of Spanish island of Tenerife.
Younger people are more likely to turn their heating all the way up to 25°C or above, with 21% of 18- to 24-year-olds saying this is their preferred temperature, compared to just 3% of those aged 55 or older.
Age UK recommends older people keep the rooms they use most at 21°C, and six in 10 over 55s say they set their thermostat to 20°C or above.
Sarah Broomfield, energy expert at Uswitch.com, comments: “With temperatures falling, many of us have already turned our heating on, but it’s amazing to think that an estimated two million homes are currently hotter than Tenerife.
“While it is important to stay warm over the winter, and older people especially should keep their heating on to look after their health, higher temperatures are one of the biggest contributors to higher energy bills and carbon emissions.
“Anyone who is worried about paying their energy bills this winter should contact their energy supplier, who can offer advice and support. Some people may be eligible for free insulation grants to help them pay for home improvements that will keep costs down longer term.”
The Green Homes Grant, which was announced by chancellor Rishi Sunak in July’s budget has been available from September and will see the government cover at least two-thirds of the cost of energy-saving home improvements for over 600,000 homes.
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The average UK household can apply for up to £5,000, while those on low income can receive vouchers covering 100% of the cost of the improvements, up to a maximum of £10,000. The government is earmarking £500m to support low income, fuel poor households, including those living in rented accommodation.
The grant will cover green home improvements such as insulation of walls, floors and roofs and the installation of low-carbon heating, like heat pumps or solar thermal.
The measures could help families save up to £600 a year on their energy bills, according to the government.
WATCH: The £2bn Green Home Grants scheme explained