Switching off heating and investing in energy efficiency

Nine out of 10 households taking measures to manage energy price rises

Nine out of 10 households taking measures to manage energy price rises

With energy bills set to almost double from the same time last winter, even with the announced Government support, a third of households (32%) agree that rising energy prices will have the greatest impact on their household budget and, as a result, all but one in 10 households (11%) are taking action to mitigate the effect, according to new research (3000 UK adults were surveyed between September 1 and September 8 by OnePoll, for KPMG UK) from KPMG UK.

KPMG surveyed 3000 UK consumers of varying household incomes earlier this month, to find out how they will cover these extra costs. The most likely measure being considered among respondents is to reduce or switch off the main heating supply, with a third of households (32%) considering this. Similarly, a quarter (26%) are looking to reduce their electricity use by using fewer appliances.

Energy efficiency upgrades are also high on the agenda with over three in 10 (31%) saying that they are investing in such measures to keep bills down, with an average planned spend of £556.20. A similar amount (29%) say they are actively tracking their usage, either via a smart meter or with regular meter readings, to see where they can save.

Upgrading light bulbs is the most likely investment in energy efficiency, with almost a quarter (24%) of households expecting to do this. Following this, upgrading glazing (21%), and draft proofing (19%) are popular options. Larger investments are also being considered with one in five (19%) planning to install solar panels; one in six 16% are looking at upgrading their boiler or heating system, and the same amount are considering loft installation. However, almost a quarter (23%) of households say that they can’t afford to make any upgrades.

Commenting on the findings, Simon Virley CB, Vice Chair and Head of Energy and Natural Resources at KPMG said “Rising energy bills are set to drive a wave of behavioural change over this winter as many households look to mitigate the impact as much as they can. With some of the leakiest housing stock in Europe, addressing the energy efficiency of our homes will be key to permanently reducing bills, improving energy security, and tackling climate change. This survey indicates that there is clear public appetite for this. This appetite needs to be matched with better information and support for households to make the changes needed.”

Over half (56%) of respondents agree that more support for energy efficiency measures would help them this winter, with a very similar number (55%) saying that if available they would apply for such support. 

Other findings include:

  • One in five (20%) have already cancelled their direct debits and are only paying for what they have used
  • A similar number (21%) have opted to overpay on their direct debit to cover additional winter spend
  • One in 10 (10%) plan to use savings to cover additional costs
  • One in six (17%) will reduce spending elsewhere
  • 8% say they will have to make use of public spaces to avoid using energy


For further information please contact:

KPMG Media Relations

Claire Barratt

Mobile: +44 (0)7923 439264


About KPMG

KPMG LLP, a UK limited liability partnership, operates from 22 offices across the UK with approximately 15,300 partners and staff.  The UK firm recorded a revenue of £2.43 billion in the year ended 30 September 2021.

KPMG is a global organization of independent professional services firms providing Audit, Legal, Tax and Advisory services. It operates in 145 countries and territories with more than 236,000 partners and employees working in member firms around the world. Each KPMG firm is a legally distinct and separate entity and describes itself as such. KPMG International Limited is a private English company limited by guarantee. KPMG International Limited and its related entities do not provide services to clients.

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