WE’RE feeling the nip of the cold air now that November is here – which means everyone is wrapping up tight.
And while the current Energy Price Guarantee (EPG) has bills capped at £2,500, you’ll still want the cheapest tricks in the book to heat your home.
That makes it more important than ever to make savings where you can.
So when you’re trying to get cosy on a chilly evening, you may think about reaching for a hot water bottle or an electric blanket.
But which one costs more to run? We’ve taken a look at the numbers.
How much to run an electric blanket?
Many people use an electric blanket to warm their beds before they get in, popping them under the sheets just before bedtime.
The price of running a heated blanket depends on what model you have and how much you use it.
It’s important to note these prices are an estimate – how much you spend will always depend on which model you have and how much you use it.
But, on average, Utilita Energy estimates it will cost 10p to run a heated blanket for one hour a day for seven days.
If you use it for an hour per night for the coldest four months of the year, that’s 91 nights and a total cost of £1.92.
If you used it for seven hours a night over that period of time, the annual cost would be £9.02.
Of course, every extra hour you use it increases this cost, and the exact cost will depend on your energy tariff.
How much does it cost to fill a hot water bottle?
The average hot water bottle has a capacity of 1.5 litres, or six cups, and will stay warm for hours.
But you will need energy to heat that water up in the first place.
It’s not advisable to put boiling water into a hot water bottle, as this can corrode the rubber and cause leaks.
However, you can put nearly boiling water in there – so by all means fill the kettle up, but leave it to cool slightly before transferring the liquid to your hot water bottle.
Using a hot water bottle cover or simply wrapping a towel or blanket around it will help keep the heat in for longer, and ensure it’s not too hot to touch.
To fill six cups of water, enough to fill a hot water bottle, this will cost £5.81 – this is if you just use the bottle at night – for 91 nights.
If you filled your hot water bottle once in the morning, and again at night, this will cost you £10.92 for the same period.
Electric blanket or hot water bottle – which is the cheapest?
The electric blanket comes out cheaper, compared to filling your hot water bottle.
Of course, which method you choose will depend on your individual preference.
You could also argue that the electric blanket is larger so will keep more of you warm, and should also feel hotter.
Don’t forget to factor in the cost of buying the item in the first place too.
We recently did a round-up of the best heated blankets on sale now, and the cheapest was just £19.
And remember, the actual cost of energy will depend on your tariff and how long you use your appliances for.
What other energy bill help is coming?
As part of the Autumn Statement, it was revealed millions on benefits and Universal Credit will receive an extra one-off £900.
Eight million households currently get cost of living payments worth up to £650, but eligibility criteria could change under any new rules.
Right now, eligibility includes those on:
- Universal Credit
- Job Seeker’s Allowance
- Employment and Support Allowance
- Income Support
- Pension Credit
- Child Tax Credit
- Working Tax Credit
Pensioners will also be getting a £300 one-off payment.
The current “Pensioner Cost of Living payment” is being handed out to millions on a low income.
You qualify under the current rules if you normally get the Winter Fuel Payment, but this could change under the new rules.
The £300 cost of living payment is paid on top of the other winter support.
You’ll need to be:
- born on or before 25 September 1956
- have lived in the UK for at least one day during the week of 19 to 25 September 2022 in what is known as the “qualifying week”
Struggling families are eligible for the Warm House Discount to help them tackle the cost of living.
The scheme is where eligible households can get £150 off their electricity bill each winter – but you’ll have to wait until the colder months to get the money off.
Households in England and Wales don’t need to apply to get the cash and they’ll automatically qualify if they are receiving certain benefits.
You can read more about who’s eligible here.
There are plenty of energy grants and schemes open to help you out if you’re struggling.
British Gas has recently confirmed that it’ll pay its most vulnerable customers grants worth £750 to help with sky-high bills.
Ask your supplier what’s on offer and how to apply, or check here:
- British Gas Energy Trust
- Bulb energy fund
- EDF’s energy customer support fund
- E.on’s energy fund
- Npower’s energy fund
- Ovo’s debt and energy assistance
- Scottish Power’s hardship fund
There’s also a one-off fuel voucher from your energy supplier if you’re on a prepayment metre.
And for more on what the Autumn Statement means for you, read our round up here.
This story originally contained incorrect calculations that stated filling a hot water bottle was cheaper than using an electric blanket. The figures have now been revised and corrected.
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