Britons have cut their gas and electricity use by more than 10% since October, according to Britain’s two biggest suppliers, in the first evidence of the impact of the energy crisis on household habits.
E.ON, the UK’s second largest supplier and owner of utility warehouses, has reported “double digit” declines in recent weeks.
As households cut access in response to rising bills, the Business Secretary, Grant Shappshas written to landlords across the region to say that customers who cut energy use to save money should not face an increase in their direct debit.
Sharing a letter sent to CEOs of UK energy suppliers over the weekend, he tweeted on Sunday: “Households should not see their direct debit increase when their energy use falls.”
In the letter, Shapps said he was “troubled” by reports that some consumers were told their direct debit would increase “when they reduce their usage to save money when household income is low.” trying hard to do”.
He said: “With other costs rising for households, it is important that we do what we can to help. I am interested to understand how you want to ensure that your direct debit system extends the charging- Don’t judge by offering.”
Energy industry executives are watching anxiously to see whether concerns about higher bills will lead to a significant reduction in use this winter.
Michael Lewis, chief executive of E.ON, which has 5.6 million customers, said the supplier was “seeing cuts of 10 to 15%” in recent weeks against the seasonal average.
“It’s quite a big effect. We’re analyzing our data and trying to understand what’s going on. Maybe people are turning the heating on for a shorter period of time or turning down the thermostat in their home.” Shutting down. Those are the two big levers.
Andrew Lindsay, chief executive of stock market-listed Telecom Plus, said gas use had fallen by around 10% in recent months and “our expectation is that consumption will fall further as people self-regulate. And are forecasting a double-digit decline.
Telecom Plus owns Utility Warehouse, which has over 800,000 customers and offers cheap tariffs by bundling energy, broadband, mobile and insurance services together.
Lindsay and Lewis both said that the unseasonably mild weather in October and November made it more difficult to analyze consumer behavior.
Lindsay said: “We hope [energy reduction] To continue during the winter – for people to self-regulate, but they cannot self-regulate to zero. It is limited and there is a big government drive to encourage people for energy efficiency and it will certainly result in people being more prudent, which is the right thing to do. So we factored that into our forecasts.
ministers Plans to launch £25m public information campaign before Christmas To encourage people to reduce their energy use this winter. The controversy has spanned three prime ministers and divided the Conservative Party, with some MPs, including Liz Truss, seeing it as “nanning” to run a campaign.
The government is expected to suggest to the public how to save energy and money through tactics such as reducing boiler temperatures and switching off electrical appliances instead of leaving them on standby. Similar campaigns are underway in Europe For months countries have attempted to ease pressure on gas networks after Russia cut supplies to Europe after its invasion of Ukraine.
In the UK, the National Grid has started a plan Offering rebates for off-peak power usage to reduce pressure on the network.
Lewis said that E.ON, which has signed on to the initiative, had seen 21,000 households participating, and 70% of them significantly reduced their usage in order to receive payments.
The government has stepped in to ease the pressure of rising energy bills through its Energy Price Guarantee, which caps typical annual household bills at £2,500.