Why women pay more to keep warm

C12KXJ USA, New Jersey, Jersey City, Mature man adjusting room temperature, while woman is sitting in background. Image shot 201

As autumn draws in, men should spare a thought for the women of the world because it costs an extra £425 a year to keep a room comfortably warm for a woman.

Explaining the annual thermostat wars in homes around the country, a survey by Duette Blinds reveals that over half of women like their homes to be around 24°C or hotter, whereas only 35% of men want their thermostat higher than 22°C.

Nearly nine out of ten men admit to going round the house turning down the thermostat after their partner has put it up.

But the research gives the lie to the popular myth that northerners are tougher than southerners, with people in the north setting their thermostat to an average of 25°C - 2°C higher than in the south.

And given current fuel prices, households could save a staggering £400 a year if they were set at a level that's comfortable for men rather than women.

"The results offer an interesting insight into the battle of the sexes going on in UK homes," says spokesperson Kirsty Hunt.

"Government health advice puts the ideal living room temperature at 21°C and the rest of the house at 18°C as the optimum for health and wellbeing. Our poll found that one in 18 women would like their home as hot as 30°C (86F)!"

According to new research from the Debt Advisory Centre, one in five Brits will go without heating at times this winter, and more than half are worried about how they'll pay their bills. Over a quarter say they'll even go without food to pay for heating.

It's possible to save an average £85 a year for every degree the thermostat is turned down. Improving insulation, replacing older boilers and installing solar panels can help too - and a grant may be available.

Switching suppliers regularly and paying by direct debit can also slash bills by hundreds of pounds.

You can also get a free energy check from the Energy Saving Trust. You'll get a personalised report about your home, telling you how you can make big savings - often as much as £250 a year.

"I'd urge consumers to take control of their energy bills before the cold weather starts to bite," says Ann Robinson, director of consumer policy at uSwitch.


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Most outrageous bill mistakes
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Most outrageous bill mistakes
Carol Sandford, 72, called 118 118 from her mobile phone unaware of the charges involved. Calls to the number cost £1.88 per call and there is also a £2.57 per minute charge from landlines. TalkTalk raises this to £5.68 for the first minute and £3.28 per minute after that. TalkTalk told Carol the charge £81.12 charge was correct but luckily 118 118 were kinder, offering to repay the charge in full. Read the full story here.
One Londoner was more than a little confused when his debit card was declined while he was trying to buy just six bottles of American craft beers. But he quickly realised that instead of the £22.30 he owed, he had been charged £223,000! It's thought he punched in the PIN number before the machine was ready and it added the numbers to the total. Luckily the 28-year-old saw the funny side and laughed the incident off. Read more on the story here.

Early Lewis from Detroit was amazed to find his water bill was almost 100 times as much as he was expecting. The bill claimed that Lewis had used 3,740 gallons of water in just one hour. Thankfully common sense prevailed and the Water and Sewage Department admitted it was a mistake and subsequently charged Lewis the $36 he should have been charged initially. Read more on this story here

George MacIntosh, 73, was charged a staggering £200 for premium-rate gambling texts he didn't intend to sign up for. Unfortunately this wasn't a scam but a legal service from a company called Zamano. It seems the retired vicar had accidentally signed up after responding to an initial text from the company. Read the full story here.
Philip Groves was amazed to receive a £1,411 bill from Vodafone last year for his 10-year-old daughter Trinity's phone. It turns out Trinity had watched 28 hours of instructional loom band videos on YouTube, assuming her phone was using wifi. But the wifi had cut out, leaving her phone using the data allowance at it's highest rate. Vodafone refused to cancel the bill and threatened legal action. Read more here
Daniel Pontin was in for quite a shock after opening a gas bill charging him £31,000 for a year's worth of gas in a one-bedroom home. Pontin claimed his meter was broken when he moved in and was initially charged £35 a month for six months before he stopped receiving bills. When the huge £31,000 estimated bill arrived Npower told Pontin to ignore it while they investigated. Read the full story here
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