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UK Winter Energy Forecast

Households all over the country will rely heavily on heating this winter, and the temperature outside will be a big factor in determining the length of time required to keep it on for. MoneySuperMarket explores the parts of the UK that are paying more to reach an optimum home temperature of 21 degrees.

According to the World Health Organisation and a number of UK energy suppliers, the most comfortable indoor temperature for a UK household is between 18-21 degrees celcius.

Through an analysis of anonymised customer data, MoneySuperMarket set out to establish the parts of the country that end up paying the most in heating bills, in order to reach this optimum temperature and stay warm during winter – something that is proving increasingly hard for millions suffering from fuel poverty.

By analysing temperature data for each location in December 2017, January 2018 and February 2018, MoneySuperMarket determined an average winter temperature and paired this with annual median energy spend and usage.

Assuming a countrywide desired household temperature of 21 degrees, we can estimate how much residents in each area have to cough up to heat their home, as well as how much each individual degree celcius increase in temperature costs. Our calculations do not take into account time to heat the home - given the wide variance in appliances and insulation - though this is a contributing factor.

From an analysis of 118 areas across the UK and over 500,000 enquiries on MoneySuperMarket, it was revealed that the UK spends an average of £3.34 per degree celcius raised.

The highest cost per celsius per region

The lowest cost per celsius per region

The South West of the country was definitively found to pay the most for their winter heating, with nine areas making up the overall top 10. Truro, Cornwall topped the list of most expensive heating bills at £194.10, with Taunton (£191.79), Plymouth (£191.18) and Torquay (£190.66) filling positions three to five. The City of London in second was the only area outside the South West to crack the top ten.

Cost per degree table - 10 areas with the highest cost per celsius

On the opposite end of the league table, Harrow in London was discovered to have the cheapest winter heating bills, with residents looking to pay £161.88 in total. However, Yorkshire and the Humber made up 40 per cent of the top 10 cheapest locations, with the likes of Huddersfield (£164.94), Bradford (£165.55), Halifax (£166.57) and Harrogate (£169.13) all featuring.

Cost per degree table - Bottom 10

Looking closer at costs per degree Celcius raised, the table of most expensive locations is completely reversed. In this case, nine of the top 10 are within London, headlined by City of London (£4.02) and followed by Truro in the South West (£3.81).

Cost per degree table - Bottom 10

With the data revealing how costly it is to keep your home heated in the winter, MoneySuperMarket provide top tips on keeping your house warm during the colder months.

Foil insulation

Cover a large, thin piece of card with tinfoil and place it behind the radiators in your home. This will reflect the heat back into the rooms, which will mean that they will warm up faster and retain more heat. If doing it yourself isn’t quite for you, you can purchase ready-made foil insulation.

Pipe lagging

Pipe lagging is the process of insulating hot water pipes with foam tubes. It keeps the water inside your pipes hotter for longer and provides protection against the cold. This also means the efficiency of your heating and hot water will improve greatly. Pipe lagging is available from DIY stores and is easy to install and fit, with no tools required.

Know your optimum temperature

With the optimum temperature for a home being between 18-21 degrees celcius, you should aim to set the main room thermostat to this level. Use a timer to then turn it on and off when you require the heating. This will ensure that you do not waste any energy by leaving the heating on for too long.

Draught-proof the home

If your home has fallen victim to a draught, make sure you patch it up. Filling in the gaps around windows and doors can help you save on your heating expenses, so spending money on insulating tape is a worthwhile investment.

Bleed your radiators

Be sure to check whether your radiators are heating all the way to the top. If they aren’t, you will need to learn how to bleed the radiator. This is simply a case of relieving all of the trapped air which is stopping the heat from rising. Go to your local DIY shop and pick up a radiator bleed key to access the valve at the top. Once you hear a hissing sound and see a drip of water, close it up and your radiator should be fully functioning again.

Keep the curtains closed

It may sound simple but a great deal of warmth within the home escapes through the windows. If you keep your curtains closed before nightfall and while you’re out of the house, your home is far more likely to retain the heat. If you’re having constant issues with the heat retension in your home, it might be worth purchasing thermal curtains.

Utilise your oven

Once dinner is ready and out of the oven, we tend to close the door again. But this is actually a waste of heat – if you leave the door open, the heat will slowly move into your kitchen and keep the room warm while you tuck in to your food.

Use a rug

Wooden floors let the heat escape, so putting down a rug will cover the gaps and ensure your feet stay warm.

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Average winter temperatures calculated according to average temperaures in each location for December 2017, January 2018 and February 2018 via https://www.wunderground.com

Sources for optimum room temperature

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