Watt’s the big deal? Biggest causes of energy-related arguments revealed

We all know that familiar argument… do you crank up the thermostat or go and put a jumper on as the cold sets in? However, don’t fret if this is a common cause of conflict in your household. It seems that much of the country is caught up in these rows – our latest research found that a third of all UK households (33 %) have argued about the money they spend on energy bills.

According to our findings, leaving the lights and the heating on are the biggest sources of the disputes, followed by turning the temperature up, having long showers or baths, and over-using electrical devices.

A regional row?

However, the number of energy-related quarrels varies across the UK, with Welsh households topping the table when it comes to ‘heated’ arguments. In fact, we’ve calculated that over four in ten (42%) Welsh households – almost 550,000 in total – argue about their gas and electricity. In contrast, households in Scotland and the South East were least likely to have such fiery arguments – almost a quarter (24 %) of households in each region admitted to disputes over energy.

You may be wondering why energy lies at the root of so many rifts. Well, it’s clearly a cause for money worries for many of you. In fact, we’ve found that seven in 10 of you try to ration your energy usage – that’s almost 18.7 million households in total. And keeping costs down is clearly the key motivating factor, with over 17 million households admitting to turning down that thermostat in a bid to keep down costs *.

Yet again, Welsh households led the way, with almost four in five (78%) households admitting to rationing their energy use in the home. This was closely followed by households in the South West (76%), North East (75%) and the South East (74%). In contrast, those of you in the East Midlands were least likely to be conservative with your energy use – with just six in 10 (60%) keeping those baths short or turning the lights off to keep costs down.

Tariff terror?

Following the news that three of the Big Six have announced price rises in recent months, we also wanted to find out just how many of you were concerned that this would impact your finances. Clearly, the likely impact on energy bills nation-wide has been reported – over 21 million households admitted that they were aware of the recent price hikes .

Unsurprisingly, many of you are concerned that these price rises will affect you too. In fact, almost seven in 10 (68 %) of you are concerned that these price hikes would have a direct impact on your household budget – and with so many consumers already looking to keep costs down, we wouldn’t be surprised if this led to even more arguments as a result.

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Peter Earl

Head of Energy


“We all dread bills, however the recent energy price hikes have led to greater money uncertainty amongst households. Not only is this leading to renewed concern around the amount they will need to pay, but it has also led to growing worries surrounding the impact that this is likely to have on finances. This situation is only worsened by the fact that customers never truly know what they will end up paying for their energy, month by month, with estimated bills often not reflecting the final costs."

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