In a survey of nearly 2,500 bill payers for Big Energy Saving Week, a fifth said they'd turn to credit cards if they required £300, while a third said they'd give up 10 hours or more of their time in a week. The difficult questions and sacrifices don't stop there, with 14 per cent saying they would ask friends or family for a loan.
Things needn't be that hard. An energy price comparison tool just launched by Citizens Advice allows bill payers to search the market and get a completely impartial view of all tariffs available, without the influence of sponsored results.
This energy awareness week seems to have come at just the right time – as over half of those who responded to the survey won't review their monthly bills to find savings.
It seems that many of us are labouring under a false belief that energy is not where we're going to achieve a boost to household finances, with 43 per cent holding the view that switching won't benefit them and their pockets. Ofgem's £300 figure says otherwise.
And there are ways to save more, without the extreme measures, as Energy Saving Trust Chief Executive Philip Sellwood (pictured) points out.
He said: “It is a concern that many people would look to use a credit card or ask those closest to them for cash if they needed to raise an extra £300. With 31 per cent of people saying they would use that money for essential items or to pay off debt, this could lead to a vicious cycle of paying off debt with more debt.
“Changing energy supplier is a much more sustainable way of achieving savings of around £300, while simple changes in the home such as adding extra insulation or using energy efficient bulbs will give added protection from possible increases in energy prices.”
Big Energy Saving Week is all about affordable warmth, and there are events happening all this week which bring together all the best information from Energy Saving Trust, Citizens Advice and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). If you can't make one of them, give the Energy Saving Advice Service a call on 0300 123 1234.
Before you do anything drastic to get hold of a few hundred quid, it would also be well worth repeating that price comparison tool once again: energycompare.citizensadvice.org.uk