Study: Aira reveals how Scots are adapting to soaring energy costs

15/01/2024
Martin Lewerth (Aira Group CEO)

THE NEW Year has heralded a frosty resolve across the nation, as millions turn to the growing trend of Thermal Thriftiness – the latest money-saving trend to combat rising home heating costs. 

The new trend is revealed in a new social attitudes survey commissioned by Aira, a Swedish clean-energy company. 

Despite the bone-chilling predictions of a severe January cold snap, Scots are steadfastly dialling down our domestic heating. Aira’s study reveals that 69% have made a pledge to lower their heating during the first month of the year, with 16% deciding to turn their heating off completely. The survey found that more than one-in-two (53%) of Scots say they expect temperatures at home to be the coldest they have ever lived in, as millions pledge to keep home heating low.

The research found that the chilling trend may last long into 2024 – as over a third (40%) assert they will maintain lower than normal home temperatures well into late February, undeterred by the prospects of cold conditions, even though 61% expect to get a cold and 54% anticipate flu-like symptoms to take hold.

When asked for the main reasons behind giving home heating the cold shoulder, financial pressures topped concerns, with 80% of survey participants citing high energy prices as a main concern. Simultaneously, 43% say more general personal finance concerns are an issue. Alongside a global call for climate action, 34% of respondents are driven by environmental concerns, acknowledging the need to decarbonise residential heating, which is the third largest source of CO2 emissions in Europe.

The data paints a picture of resilience and adaptability amidst challenging financial conditions, with Scots resorting to numerous strategies to keep warm without cranking up the heat. 66% are even willing to wear dressing gowns, 54% slippers, and a further saying 69% will wear extra layers. Additionally, 18% of respondents who are lowering or turning off their heating say they will be wearing outdoor clothes, such as a hat and coat, inside to stay warm!  

The clean-energy tech solution

The case for alternative home energy heating solutions is rapidly growing, with 16% – nearly 750,000 Scots – considering the installation of a heat pump in 2024 to provide efficient, sustainable heating in the years to come. 

Heat pumps are already the number one home energy solution in Scandinavian countries – such as Sweden, which is known for its harsh winters and has recently experienced record low winter temperatures – and provide reliable, clean energy for homes while slashing COemissions and home heating bills in the process.  

Despite this, 130 million European households still use gas and oil boilers to heat their homes, with 25 million in the UK, a practice that constitutes 16% of the UK’s total CO2 emissions.

Martin Lewerth, Aira Group Chief Executive Officer, said: “This research is a stark reminder that households continue to struggle with the demands of soaring energy prices and an over-reliance on imported fossil fuels. At Aira, we believe the solution is the electrification of residential heating. We want to make heat pumps accessible and affordable for the many and provide a hassle-free, all-inclusive plan with a low monthly fee.

“Switching from a gas boiler to a heat pump will help families save 25%  on their heating bills and reduce household emissions by at least 75% – a number that rises to 100% with fossil-free energy – without requiring any lifestyle changes.”

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