Consumers in the United Kingdom are taking to energy-saving air conditioners, electric blankets and coolers this winter as fuel prices rise.
Sales of air conditioners were up 286% in September compared to the same month last year, according to market research firm GfK.
A portable appliance uses less energy than a conventional oven because the fans are smaller and heat up faster.
“The huge increase in sales of these things shows how rising energy prices are affecting people,” Helen Morrissey, senior analyst and pensions analyst at Hargreaves Lansdown, told CNN Business. “People are looking at their energy usage down to the minute level.”
Sales of electric cookers, which include pressure cookers and slow cookers, were also up 79% in the year to September.
A standard slow cooker costs 11 pence (13 cents) to run an hour, while a standard electric oven costs 21 pence (24 cents), according to data from price comparison website Uswitch.com, which estimates energy costs for products. of customers.
Asda, one of the country’s biggest supermarkets, said sales of its fridges jumped 320% in September from the same month in 2021, while sales of its slow cookers doubled over the same period.
Brits are preparing to wrap up the cold weather ahead by stocking up on electric blankets. Item sales rose 216% year-on-year in September, according to GfK.
“It’s clear that people are willing to do whatever it takes to avoid putting the heat on for as long as possible to relieve a lot of pressure on their money,” Morrissey said.
Millions of Britons are struggling to make ends meet as their food and fuel bills have soared this year. Last month, consumer price inflation rose back to July’s level of 10.1%, a 40-year high.
And the average annual energy bill for households has risen by 96% from last October to £2,500 ($2,889) this month.
In September, the government stepped in to cap gas and electricity bills at that level for the next two years. But earlier this month, the country’s new finance minister Jeremy Hunt said the snow would last until April, with only vulnerable households getting extra support.
Data from Asda, compiled by the Center for Economics and Business Research, said households were £141 ($163) worse off in September compared to a year earlier.
Increases in gas and electricity bills, up 96% and 54% respectively, were the main factors driving the drop in disposable income, the retailer said.