Octo Assist is a £15million customer help fund and a collection of support schemes designed to give extra help to customers most in need. Octopus Energy is offering electric blankets to the most vulnerable homes, but it may be cheaper for families to just boil a kettle and fill up a hot water bottle.
On Wednesday, the Chancellor Jeremy Hunt announced the Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) will be kept at £2,500 for an additional three months from April to June, saving a typical household £160.
However, Britons could be making further savings by using certain appliances that heat the individual, rather than heating the whole room.
Octopus Energy has urged any vulnerable customers to contact them if they need support.
On their website, it explained energy blankets tend to cost around £60 and their research shows the typical home could save £300 by using an electric blanket to keep warm rather than always heating the whole house.
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Customers who got an electric blanket found that they saved up to 10-20 percent on their bills on average in the Winter months after getting their blanket. Over a year, that’s a £300 saving.
Heating a whole home costs around £4 a day whereas an energy-efficient electric blanket can heat a person for just 2-4p an hour.
This means an electric blanket is a vastly more cost-effective way to stay warm: particularly for people with mobility issues, for example, and those who spend a lot of time in one spot, or those with medical issues that mean they feel the cold more or are more prone to illness.
Or those with medical issues that mean they feel the cold more or are more prone to illness.
Despite the savings that could be made, the initial £60 fee could throw some people off as this could be too big of an upfront cost.
Some experts have explained the efficiency of using a hot water bottle as a way to heat an individual rather than the home, which could be cheaper than an electric blanket.
Dr Steve Buckley, head of data science at Loop explained that boiling a full kettle to fill a hot water bottle costs around 7p.
If someone did this before going to bed and put the hot water bottle under their sheets to warm them up, this, plus additional duvets or blankets could keep them warm and comfortable through the night.
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He said: “Hot water bottles aren’t just for bedtime though and can be equally as effective at maintaining comfort whilst reducing your heating needs when working at a desk or sitting on the sofa for example.”
Most kettles can boil around 1.7 litres of water in about four minutes. People can expect to pay 6.8p to boil a full kettle.
HugoEnergyapp.com explained that if someone had two cups of tea every day for a year, and only boiled the water they needed, it would cost them £9.34.
But if they boiled a full kettle each time, it would cost them £49.64.
So it’s definitely more cost-effective to only boil the amount of water people need, rather than a full kettle.
Octopus Energy has offered tips to get the most out of one’s electric blanket:
- “Use this as a throw over your body to keep you warm, rather than as a mattress topper.
- “Heat the blanket up at the highest setting for a few minutes and then reduce the setting down to a medium setting for longer use.
- “Do not fold the blanket as this may impair the heating functionality.
- “The blanket works differently to a heated mattress topper.
- “The heat may appear ‘patchy’ to the touch but the blanket works by creating a halo of heat around you and is working effectively.
- “Position the connector of the blanket at your feet and keep it unobstructed to avoid overheating.
- “Make sure children are not left unobserved with the blanket.”
For more information on how to claim a free electric blanket, people can visit the Octopus Energy website.