Soft, sceptical and scared Londoners are biggest victims of the central heating dilemma

- Research reveals the nation’s embarrassing central heating habits -

With winter fast approaching, households across the country are yet again faced with the perennial dilemma of when to turn the heating on. In contrast to the usual stereotype of ‘soft southerners’ always being the first, a survey of 2,000 homeowners by BSI, the business standards company, has shown that it is in fact those in the north who have given way earliest this year. 

Even so, Londoners haven’t escaped all the embarrassment, as they are the most likely to admit to holding off the heating for fear of provoking rows in the household. Similarly, on average they set the thermostat higher than anyone else in the country, with the temperature sitting at 21.5°C. To add to this, they are also revealed to be the most sceptical around the cost-effectiveness of energy saving products, with almost a third believing investment in them will not save them money.

In this however, they are not alone. Over one in four of us across the country are put off by the cost of investment in energy efficient products. This comes despite a 40% improvement in the number of people aware of the benefits of the government’s initiatives such as the Green Deal and ECO to help homeowners improve the energy efficiency of their homes.  The top reason for homeowners holding back on investing in energy saving measures is a lack of trust in claims by retailers. To help change this perception and thus benefit similar initiatives such as ECO (Energy Companies Obligation), BSI has created the first ever BSI Kitemark™ for Energy Efficient Buildings (EEB) which covers retailer advice, products and installation.

Gary Fenton, Global Product Certification Director of BSI commented, “With the potential for energy price hikes, homeowners across the UK are worried about how they will be able to afford to stay warm this winter and beyond. There is a greater awareness of the need to be energy efficient now than ever before, but a barrier to uptake on energy efficient products is clearly trust that they will deliver genuine savings. Our suite of three BSI Kitemarks is designed to give home owners the confidence to invest in boosting the thermal efficiency of their homes, helping address energy waste and reducing our heating bills.”

At a time of high energy costs, almost 9 in 10 homeowners feel that home energy efficiency is important and a similar proportion want to improve the efficiency of their home as a way to save money.

The BSI Kitemark allows consumers to invest safe in the knowledge that it not only guarantees a standard of excellence for all products that achieve it, but through regular testing of the manufacturing processes of these products, is proof that this standard is maintained.