Half of Brits think they're overpaying for their heating bill

·2-min read
Many Brits may be spending more on heating during the COVID-19 pandemic. (Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash)
Many Brits may be spending more on heating during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a survey. Photo: Julian Hochgesang/Unsplash

More half of Brits believe they are “overpaying” for their heating bill, with one in seven forking over more than £1,000 ($1,292) a year, research suggests.

About 55% of Brits told Boiler Plan they think their heating bills are too high.

While a fifth pay as little as £20 a month for their heating bill, 14% pay over £90 a month or a massive £1,080 a year, the survey of 2,000 found.

The last reported average annual gas bill by Ofgem was £676 a year – meaning one in seven Brits pays over a quarter (27%) more than the national average to heat their home.

The highest proportion of people paying over £90 a month is in Yorkshire and the Humber, with a quarter of the region doing so.

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It is followed by the North East at 15%. This cost doesn't include electricity, so many people may be actually paying considerably more for their energy, overall.

More than half (51%) of residents in the North East believe they are paying too much for their heating. This could be due to the cold weather in the north, as Northern Ireland comes a close second, with 45% of residents believing they are paying too much for their energy.

There could be another reason too. The North East has one of the highest percentages of retail workers – a sector that has suffered a large number of job losses due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Similarly, Northern Ireland has seen unemployment levels increase at a rate not seen since 2012. This could mean that people are at home more than ever, therefore, spending more money to remain warm.

The study also found one in six Brits believe you can't save much by switching energy providers. However, the study suggests switching can save customers up to £300.

READ MORE: UK households could save £1.4bn by turning their heating down just 1°C

This means nearly one in five (18%) Brits could be paying hundreds extra every year because they aren't aware of the possible savings.

Nearly a third (29%) of Brits said they had been with the same energy provider for over two years.

“Those staying with the same provider could believe they are being rewarded for their loyalty when, in fact, they could be missing out on hundreds of pounds,” said Boiler Plan.

The firm urged Brits to compare energy prices every six to nine months, as once a tariff stops – typically after 12 months – customers are usually placed on a standard plan, which is often the most expensive option.

However, 7% of Brits admitted they just “can't be bothered” to switch. Meanwhile 3% said they don't know how.

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