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Weather or not to turn the heating on?

Age and location are the most influential factors - after weather conditions - in determining when people across the UK switch on their heating systems, according to Make It Cheaper. 

The price comparison service asked 1,000 people how low the temperature needs to drop before they start firing up their radiators. The youngest group surveyed – those in their 20s – hold out for longest with an outside reading of 10 degrees Centigrade required for the heating to go on. Retirees consider 13 degrees low enough for a boost in warmth, with the tipping point rising for the eldest respondents - those in their 80s - who feel the chill most. 

But it’s not just youth that plays a part in when UK homes are heated. Households in Wales are the first to reach for the controls – doing so when the mercury hits 13.5 degrees - while those in the far North of Scotland are the most resilient. Not only do Highlanders resist the urge until it’s 10.8 degrees, but they set their thermostats at the lowest settings in the UK, with an average of just 19 degrees. In fact there is a clear North / South divide in the survey results, with soft Londoners requiring the highest thermostat setting at an average of 21.5 degrees.

Heating-On Temperatures (in Centigrade)

Make It Cheaper also asked its survey respondents for their opinions on how the energy companies could go about restoring trust with their customers this Winter. The most popular choice was to be more reactive by instantly passing on any falls in the wholesale cost of energy to their customers, followed by an automatic reduction in bills for everyone living in fuel poverty.

Scott Byrom, energy expert at Make It Cheaper said:

"Let’s not forget how important disposable income has become in how warm we heat our homes. Winter is responsible for almost three-quarters of an annual gas bill and over half the year’s electricity. For the average household that means putting aside between £522 and £787 to cover the next few months, depending on what sort of deal they are on. In other words, the best tariffs offer you a third more heating for the same price as the worst."

For advice on reducing heating bills this Winter, Make It Cheaper’s home energy advisors can be reached on 0800 320 2000, with its Ofgem-Confidence Code accredited switching site being found at

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Survey Results:

AgeTemperature (degrees Centigrade)

About Make It Cheaper: Based in Central London with 140 staff, Make It Cheaper has been the No.1 destination for businesses to get a better deal on their utilities since it launched in 2007. Following its acquisition of Ofgem Confidence Code-accredited in 2012, Make It Cheaper also provides competitive energy prices and free expert advice for households – online and over the phone. Its supplier panel includes all of the Big 6 and 26 of the UK’s smaller domestic and non-domestic energy companies. For businesses and charities it also offers savings across other overheads including: telecoms, insurance and merchant services. The company has appeared in the Fast Track 100 for the past three years and has won the title of ‘Consumer Champion’ at the Energy Live Consultancy Awards for the past two years. Its 2014 ‘Net Promoter Score’, based on 4,740 customer satisfaction questionnaires completed year-to-date, is 67.

Further information: Nick Heath 020 7654 0730 / 07720 297972 /