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The COVID-19 Home Heating Impact

30 March 2021

A new study from tado° has found that UK homes had their daytime heating on 14 per cent more this winter in comparison to the previous winter. Despite financial and environmental savings made with less driving, home energy bills have gone up as heating use has increased.


“We’ve seen a massive transition from office to home working over the last year and this has a significant impact on heating and hot water costs.”


– Christian Deilmann
Co-founder and Chief Product Officer, tado°


This was predicted in October last year, along with a consequent spike in air pollution. It seemed then that with the shift to home working caused by the pandemic, and with uncertainty on how restrictions would proceed, there could have been a 56 per cent rise in boiler use. In advance of this concern, we also looked at ways these workers could keep warm that wouldn’t be as expensive.


A Warm Winter

The Taco study sampled approximately 65,000 UK and 300,000 European homes. It found that Italian and Spanish households faced the biggest increases in home heating with Denmark and Sweden among the lowest. In the UK, homeowners turned on their heating 14.3 per cent more than in the same period the previous year. This was despite warnings and the fact that this winter was on average 0.6°C warmer than the previous winter in Europe.



Picture: a map graphic showing the regional increase of home heating in winter 2020/21 compared to 2019/2020.

In the UK and Europe, heating and cooling in buildings and industry accounts for half of the UK and Europe’s energy consumption, making it the biggest energy end-use sector ahead of both transport and electricity. Heating and hot water make up approximately three quarters of a home’s energy use and two thirds of the energy used for the heating, cooling and hot water in residential buildings still stems from fossil fuels.

“We’ve seen a massive transition from office to home working over the last year and this has a significant impact on heating and hot water costs,” said tado° Co-founder and Chief Product Officer Christian Deilmann. “The good news is that there are technologies that improve energy efficiency in homes. This saves people money while keeping homes nice and warm.”

There are many cost-effective ways to save money on heating and hot water. Turning the thermostat down by one degree can save around £60 a year on an average family home but savings don’t have to come at the cost of comfort. Using your heating and hot water only when they are needed can save much more. Switching to a smart thermostat can ensure that only occupied homes and rooms are heated, while also making additional savings through weather adaptation, open window detection and other features. Studies have shown that this can reduce heating bills by up to 31 per cent without the homeowner or tenant giving up an inch of comfort. Facilities managers can compare Heating and CHP service providers in the new Spotted Cow Media Business Directory to consider the smatest approach and technology for next winter.


Picture: a home heating graphic with a thermometer symbol being touched.

Article written by Bailey Sparkes | Published 30 March 2021


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