The price of heat

One of six British households spends more than 10% of their income on utility bills, and prices are going up.

In New England, the soaring price of heating oil is creating the same problems. We keep our thermostat at 64 degrees during the day and lower it to 55 at night. Many others do the same. In a well-insulated house like ours this isn’t that big deal – even if 70 degrees would be nicer!

For those on fixed incomes or with low incomes, the price of keeping a house warm becomes prohibitive. Food has to come before heat as a priority, so they probably stay cold (or bundled up.)

There are no easy answers here. Price caps on heating oil would be impossible to implement and don’t work anyway. Smarter heating systems that use less fuel and better insulation on homes are long term solutions. But none of that helps for those who can’t afford to heat their homes now.