More than one in three households in north-west London have still not turned on their heating, despite the temperature dropping.

That's according to Northwood-based heating specialists rightgas. They have carried out research in which 39% of homeowners said that they would wait until temperatures ‘turned arctic’ until they warmed up their homes, due to concerns about bills.

Half said they are feeling the cold in their home and 13% will be cutting back on the cost of Christmas due to soaring heating bills. What is more, over one third (36%) of Londoners are rationing the heating this winter, with nearly one in ten (9%) saying that they are trying to spend more time out of the house so not to run their heating at all.

Dave Wright, managing director of rightgas said: "The research is extremely concerning and highlights that action needs to be taken across the country. It is important to consider what other savings can be made to ensure we stay warm this winter and enjoy Christmas. I would recommend that people take some small steps, such as insulating their home and checking their boiler is running efficiently."

rightgas serve Hillingdon and Harrow boroughs and wider
rightgas serve Hillingdon and Harrow boroughs and wider
 

The research also uncovered that one in three pensioners are planning to ration their heating this winter, despite the dangers. Even more concerning is that twenty five per cent of Londoners said that they know an elderly neighbour, friend or family member who will be cold inside their home this winter. Half of pensioners (55%) are not aware of the grants available to them and incredibly more than three quarters (79%) of London pensioners said they are not receiving any grants, despite all pensioners being eligible for winter fuel grants. Seventy-four per cent of Londoners believe that the government needs to do more to help pensioners this winter.

Wright continued: "The average gas bill in the London increased to £772 in 2013, which is a large amount of money by any standard. I urge homeowners to check if they are eligible for any grants this winter to help ease the burden. The Energy Company Obligation was introduced to help reduce the amount of energy we use and help those living in fuel poverty. Pensioners are also eligible for winter fuel grants and they need to ensure they are receiving these."

The research shows that the worry won’t disappear when winter 2014 is over. Nearly all homeowners believe that heating bills are set to increase again next year.

Artic weather infographic