Britons leave home for work because of rising heating bills
“There comes a point when energy bills go up[d] Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, said:
LONDON – High heating bills and the prospect of working in a cold and uncomfortable home this winter could soon spur more Britons back to the office.
According to research by price comparison website MoneySuperMarket, 7/10 (14%) of 2,000 people surveyed plan to spend more time working at the office to reduce energy bills at home. This number rises to almost a quarter (23%) when looking at 18- to 24-year-olds.
UK annual energy price cap poised to rise more than £3,500 ($4,131) this year and an anti-poverty charity are urging the government to take “urgent” action to tackle the problem.
Energy consultancy Auxilione estimates the price cap, currently at £1,971 a year, could rise to £6,089 next April as Britain’s cost-of-living crisis worsens. Price caps essentially limit how much a supplier can charge for their tariffs, but the limit has been raised higher recently due to rising wholesale prices – meaning Britons have seen bills rise leap.
Meanwhile, around one in seven working adults in the UK worked from home between April 28 and May 8, according to the Office for National Statistics. According to Matt Copeland, head of policy and public affairs for the national energy anti-poverty charity National, that number could change as bills soar.
“The huge energy bill hikes coming in October and January will push workers to think about how they can reduce costs,” Copeland told CNBC.
Sarah Coles, senior personal finance analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, could also see workers choosing to return to the office as bills soar.
“There comes a point when energy bills go up[d] It’s so high that it’s cheaper to go to work than to heat your house during the day, and for some, it will be enough to spur you back to work,” she said.
The cost difference between working from home and go to the office also largely depends on the mode of transport, Coles said.
“Someone who takes the train back and forth into London will have to face much higher cost than someone taking the local bus. At the same time, someone who lives in a modern apartment will have much lower heating costs than someone who lives in a large, draughty Victorian house,” Coles told CNBC.
According to Confused.com data from 2021, commuters by train typically spend £136 per week, while car costs average £80 per week, according to Confused.com data. from 2021.
Expenditure related to being in the office doesn’t just stop at going to work, and big money can be saved by working from home.
“There’s also everything from work wardrobe arrive lunch, coffee and random expenses that come with going away for the day. All of this needs to be factored into your calculations, says Coles.
Coles told CNBC that a better work-life balance and productivity are the two main reasons people continue to work from home as most offices have reopened and those conveniences are available. can continue to exceed the cost of heating in the home.
“Those who choose to work from home will decide that this is best for them, whether it’s because they have caring responsibilities, they work better in a home environment, or they have a locked dog. that they don’t want to leave,” Coles said.
“For them, even if it becomes more expensive to stay at home, other issues may cause them to choose to stay home,” she said.
This year there has been an increase in combined work arrangements – work from home and in the office – with 24% of people working both between April 27 and May 8, according to ONS figures. .
“If people are spending every day in an uncomfortable and cold home, the prospect of a warm office without worrying about extra bills can create a balance,” says Coles. ,” Coles said.
Mandy Garner, managing editor at WM People, an online platform promoting best practice and diversity in the workplace is increasingly influenced by the setting of working parents.
“Our annual survey that we only [analyzing] While working from home is certainly something a lot of people still want, pay has now become the most important thing for many parents who are in debt, but there are other concerns as well, says Garner. Garner said.
“For example, take care of children Availability is a growing issue for many people and some all-inclusive care and especially childcare for children with special needs who have not returned to normal,” she said.
Meanwhile, National Energy Action is asking the UK government for more support for those making these decisions.
“To prevent people from making difficult choices, the UK government urgently needs to upgrade its energy bill support package and work with the regulator to introduce a social tariff,” Copeland told CNBC.
The Department of Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy responded to CNBC’s request for comment with the following statement.
“We know the pressures people are facing with rising costs, that’s why we’re constantly taking action to help households by rolling out $37 billion in support. pounds,” a spokesman said.
They said: “We are offering a £400 discount on energy bills this winter and the eight million most vulnerable households will receive an additional £1,200.
“While no Government can control global gas prices, more than 22 million households protected by price caps continue to insulate households from even higher prices,” the statement said. conclusion.