It’s been revealed that 13 million Brits didn’t put their heating on when it got cold last winter because they were “too scared”.
As regulator Ofgem prepares announce the next energy price cap this coming Friday, a shocking new survey by Which? has found that nearly nine in 10 (85%) British households have admitted to trying to cut back on their energy usage due to rising bills putting significant financial, physical, and emotional strains on consumers.
Nearly half (46%) of the of 4,000 people surveyed said they did not not turn their heating on when it was cold last winter.
This equates to an estimated 13 million households nationwide, according to Which?
One of the most concerning findings from Which?’s research is that consumers in lower-income households and those aged 45-64 years old are more likely than others to not turn the heating on when it’s cold.
Half of households on less than £20,000 (51%) are not turning the heating on when it’s cold, compared to a third (32%) of households with annual incomes of more than £80,000 (32%), Which? said, while nearly half of households with annual incomes of £20,000-£45,000 (46%) and just under half (45%) of households on £45,000-£80,000 said they didn’t.
Those aged 45-64 are also more likely than other age groups to refrain from putting the heating on in cold weather.
Which? says this is probably because this age group has more financial responsibilities than the younger age groups, but unlike their elders, are not eligible to access pension savings.
Another concerning finding is that four in 10 (37%) of those surveyed by Which? said they were worried that their ability to recover from illness is worse now than before the cost of living crisis began – but freezing temperatures are known put people at higher risk of developing respiratory and cardiovascular diseases like asthma attacks, infections, heart disease, and strokes.
Which? says its research “clearly demonstrates” just how many consumers have had to make “severe cutbacks” to afford their energy bills, and are “putting their own health at risk” in the process.
The consumer group is now urging Ofgem and the Government to “take action” to help consumers who are “struggling to make ends meet” when the October energy price cap is unveiled later this week, and introduce a “properly-targeted social tariff” that offers discounts to those most in need.
“It’s hugely concerning that an estimated 13 million households have not switched the heating on when it’s cold due to fears of high energy bills,” commented Which?’s Energy Editor, Emily Seymour, as the survey findings were released.
“Our research shows that certain groups are more likely to be left in the cold this winter.
“The government and energy firms need to act now to help those most in need make ends meet over the winter.
“The government must introduce a properly targeted social tariff as soon as possible, and energy firms must ensure that their customer services are equipped to properly support customers over the winter.”
Manchester United issue response after banning Manchester Evening News and select journalists from press conference
The Manchester Evening News (MEN) along with a number of sports journalists have reportedly been banned from attending a Manchester United press conference after publishing a story on an apparent rift at the club, claiming that manager Erik ten Hag has ‘lost the dressing room’.
Citing the reason behind the ban as being due to Chief Man United Writer and well-known sports reporter, Samuel Luckhurst’s recent story, which claimed that ten Hag is “losing the confidence” of his players, he and at least three other journalists won’t be in attendance after Sky Sports went so far as to suggest as much as “50%” of the dressing room.
It is thought that Sky‘s chief reporter Kaveh Solekhol, David McDonnell of The Mirror and ESPN‘s Rob Dawson are among the other individuals to have been barred from joining this afternoon’s presser as per instruction from United‘s Director of Media Relations and Public Affairs, Andrew Ward.
Issuing a statement to The Manc and journalists across the country, the club said: “We’re taking action against a number of news organisations today, not for publishing stories we don’t like, but for doing so without contacting us first to give us the opportunity to comment, challenge or contextualise.
“We believe this is an important principle to defend and we hope it can lead to a re-set in the way we work together.” It is unclear how long the suspension is set to be upheld but it is likely they will only serve a one-match ban — pardon the pun.
The MEN reiterated that the initial story was “multiply-sourced”, adding that they had not been banned as a result of previous stories that were largely seen as critical of the Man United head coach and/or his squad, including prior claims players were starting to “doubt” his tactics and managerial style.
Furthermore, the outlet goes on to state that several other journalists have claimed they were prevented from asking questions in press conferences by Ward in the past “over perceived negative coverage”, adding that the club have expressed their “regret” over having to issue the ban. The move has been welcomed by many fans, with several saying it is reminiscent of Sir Alex Ferguson’s hardline approach to the media.
Man United have made one of their worst starts to a campaign in decades and, despite winning their first trophy in six years under the Dutchman with an EFL Cup win last season, have unfortunately been breaking all manner of unwanted records of late.
ten Hag’s team suffered another disappointing loss against Newcastle at the end of November and now face another tricky task as they prepare to face a Chelsea side who are starting to gather some semblance of form.
Countless Reds and neutrals alike will no doubt now be tuning in for his pre-match press conference at 1:30pm ahead of the mid-week Premier League fixture against the West Londoners on Wednesday night (8:15pm kick-off).
The former Ajax manager has made no secret of the troubles he faced when he first arrived at Old Trafford but is clearly keen to avoid others from airing any of their rumoured dirty laundry.
Featured Images — The Manc Group/Manchester United
Adult film star and LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson dies aged 36
Adult film star and much-loved LGBTQ+ icon Sophie Anderson has sadly died aged just 36, as confirmed by colleague, influencer and friend Rebecca More.
The recognisable UK porn star and internet personality, best known for being one-half of the viral online duo ‘C*ck Destroyers’ alongside More, was announced dead on Tuesday, 5 December following reports from numerous media outlets before being confirmed by her former co-star.
Sharing the news on social media, Rebecca wrote: “I’m devastated hearing the awful news of Sophie’s passing. We shared some amazing times together and that’s how I’m going to remember her.
She signed off by adding, “This is so tragic but I know you are now at peace. I will always, always love you and hold a special place in my heart”.
Her heartfelt sentiment was echoed online as countless people on social media have paid tribute to the viral sensation who was an advocate for the LGBTQIA+ community and all things queer culture, as well as sex positivity in general.
As mentioned, it was only on 17 November that her ex-partner Spedding himself passed away, but the former footballer was also disturbingly found to be the one behind previous claims she had died that turned out to be a hoax earlier this year.
Regardless, the news unfortunately appears to be genuine this time and it’s clear from the reaction online how saddened so many people from all walks of life are to learn of her passing.