Nearly half of people in Wiltshire (49%) admit to being worried about rising energy bills this winter, particularly with many working from home as a result of the Covid pandemic, according to new research carried out by leading housebuilders Barratt and David Wilson Homes.
Over a quarter of respondents (25.83%) admit to wearing lots of extra layers or feeling cold during the day in order not to put the heating on until later in the day, in a survey conducted across the South West this month.
With government advising families getting together over Christmas to increase ventilation and open doors and windows more in order to reduce the risk of spreading the virus, Barratt and David Wilson Homes are sharing tips for increasing energy efficiency to help strike a balance over the festive season.
Advice includes making the most of heating controls such as thermostats and timing devices in order to set the rooms you are using to a constant temperature, rather than heating up a space and allowing it to cool, then heating it again.
Scheduling heating and hot water to go on and off when needed can also help reduce costs and unnecessary carbon emissions. Selecting particular rooms and areas of the home to heat, for example turning off radiators upstairs if you're spending most of the day downstairs, can also significantly reduce energy use and bills.
The leading housebuilder, which has pledged to build zero carbon standard house types by 2030, also suggests small steps such as not placing furniture directly in front of radiators, reducing drafts when windows and doors are shut and tucking curtains behind radiators so that heat isn't escaping through the window can all make a dramatic difference.
New homes are up to 65% more energy efficient than older homes of the same size and produce lower carbon dioxide emissions. Barratt and David Wilson Homes' energy saving features include installing the highest efficiency rated boilers available, increased insulation including in floors, walls and lofts to minimise heat loss and high-performance argon gas filled double-glazing.
Andrea Pilgrim, sales director for Barratt Homes in Wiltshire said: "We are proud to be building highly energy efficient homes in Wiltshire and we are passionate about playing our part in the UK's green recovery.
"With so many more people now working from home, conserving energy and retaining heat is ever more important, and residents often tell us how much lower their bills are in their new home, which is up to 65% more efficient than an older house."
Louise Ware, sales director for Barratt David Wilson Homes South West added: "More than half the people we've spoken to admit to being worried about energy bills rising this winter, so we're pleased to offer advice about using energy as efficiently as possible, from using timers and thermostats to narrowing heating down to key areas at a time and ensuring radiators are open into rooms."