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Festive fears as households more worried about paying for heating than presents

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With temperatures dropping sharply and the country's first dusting of snow forecast for the weekend, a new survey has revealed that homeowners are planning to wear coats indoors to combat the cold, and are more concerned about rising fuel bills than the cost of Christmas.

Nine in ten (89%) UK homeowners say they are anxious about the cost of heating their home this winter. Over three-quarters (76%) say rising fuel bills are of a greater concern than the cost of Christmas, and other large financial commitments including meeting the monthly mortgage payments, the prospect of rising interest rates, or the cost of maintaining a family car.

The survey of 1,000 homeowners, commissioned by heating technology manufacturer Daikin UK, also revealed that three in every five (61%) are planning to wear a coat, fleece of thick jumper indoors, while 30% say they will be going to bed early on cold nights to save money. A quarter of all homeowners (26%) plan to get physical for warmth by cuddling up to a loved one.

Fears over rising fuel bills compared to the cost of Christmas are even more alarming considering a recent international study[1] of almost 13,000 consumers by ING, which revealed that British shoppers plan to spend the most on Christmas gifts this year. The average Brit is planning to splash out £350 each on presents, almost half as much again as the next biggest spenders in France and Luxembourg (£237).

The Daikin commissioned survey shows concerns over rising fuel costs are genuine, with 47% saying they are either extremely or very concerned (17% vs 30% respectively). The survey also indicates that, contrary to common assumptions, it's not just the elderly concerned with rising fuel costs: one in five (20%) of 25-34 year olds and 17% of 25-34s say they are extremely concerned.

In total, 88% of homeowners say they will be supplementing their heating systems this winter in one way or another to keep them and their families warm. Almost two-thirds of women (61%) plan to drag the duvet to the sofa (versus 36% of men) but only 12% of all homeowners say they will turn to top-up portable heaters when winter sets in, and just 14% will light an open fire or wood burner.

Nancy Jonsson, Daikin's domestic heating expert, comments: "It's alarming to see the scale of concern amongst Britain's 18 million homeowners over the cost of heating their homes this winter. It's great people are taking practical action to reduce the use of their central heating and keep costs down, but this shouldn't be necessary when alternatives means of heating without a reliance on expensive fossil fuels, such as heat pumps, are available and affordable. Frightening fuel bills are not going to go away so homeowners are urged to consider a longer term solution."

Awareness of alternative heating systems that use renewable energy sources - and are therefore not reliant on expensive fuels such as gas or oil - is good, with 61% of homeowners acknowledging some level of knowledge. However intimate acquaintance of these technologies is slight, with less than a fifth (17%) saying they've had direct experience, and awareness of the Government's domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme is low with only 35% saying they're heard of it.

Jonsson continues: "The research does highlight a positive level of awareness of alternative heating technologies that make use of renewable resources such as air or solar energy, but also a chronic lack of direct experience and of the financial support available to make the transition."

An infographic illustrating the key findings of this survey can be found here - http://www.daikin.co.uk/binaries/7769.001_DAIKIN%20Homeowner%20infographic%20FINAL%20171114_tcm511-352693.pdf

[1] http://www.ing.com/Newsroom/All-news/NW/Brits-top-spenders-on-gifts-this-Christmas-1.htm

ENDS

Media contact
Jeremy Merckel at WAA
0121 362 1637 / 07966 135671 / jeremy.merckel@waa.co.uk

Research methodology
The research was commissioned by Daikin UK and completed by Dynamic Markets. It is a quantitative study of 1,000 British homeowners. The fieldwork was completed between 26th and 29th September 2014.

About Daikin Airconditioning UK Ltd (Daikin UK)
Daikin Airconditioning UK Ltd (Daikin UK) is a leading supplier of cooling, heating, ventilation and refrigeration solutions for commercial, residential and industrial applications. Its product portfolio comprises a wide range of highly energy efficient climate control systems and it has been designing and manufacturing heat pump systems for more than 50 years.

A wholly owned subsidiary of Daikin Europe NV, Daikin UK has an excellent record of concern for environmental issues and applies it to all areas of the business, in many cases pre-empting international and national environmental legislation.

www.daikin.co.uk