Britain a Nation of Secret Heaters

  • 1 in 4 Brits are secret heaters, OVO finds, with nearly a quarter of the nation turning on the heating before winter without telling their partners

  • Nearly three quarters of us resist the call of the boiler switch with slippers and extra layers

  • 20 per cent of us snuggle up with someone to keep warm instead of giving in to the heating system

  • October 16th is the day of the year most of us will turn on our heating for winter


With the weather cooling down, households across the nation are gearing up to reignite their love affairs with their radiators.


New research into the nation’s habits around the start of winter has been carried out by ethical energy company OVO. The data reveals that most of us are resisting the pull of the boiler, and getting creative to avoid flicking that switch. 71 per cent of us wrap up in extra layers, hoping slippers and a jumper will keep the cold at bay for another couple of weeks, and a quarter of the nation (25 per cent) snuggle up to a partner instead of the radiator.


In-depth data generated by OVO, which runs off a convenient app that links to a smart-meter in customer’s homes, shows that the day the majority of us first turn on the heating is October 16th. However, sneaky Brits are revealed to be serial secret heaters, with nearly a quarter of us secretly turning on the heating without telling a partner.


The biggest reason those polled gave for avoiding turning on the heat was not knowing the cost of heating a home for the evening and fearing it would be expensive (54 per cent). The OVO app allows people to see exactly where they’re spending their money on energy, and provides either a monthly billing system or handy pay as you go model, both topped up through the app. The sad news is, the app means the end of secret heaters, as all household members linked to the app will be able to monitor energy usage!


Justin Haines, Customer Service Director, at OVO commented:

“It’s something we all grapple with as the cold sets in – when do we turn on the heating? Our data suggests that today is the day for most of the nation, but we’ve also identified an movement of secret heaters, who turn up the heat without their partners knowing. People worry about the cost of heating, but most are unaware that they can save hundreds of pounds by doing something as simple as switching their energy supplier.”



About OVO Energy

Headquartered in Bristol, OVO Energy, the 10th fastest private growing business in the UK, is one of the leading independent suppliers in the UK energy retail market. OVO was founded in 2009 by Stephen Fitzpatrick who set out to create a better energy company. Since entering the market in 2009, OVO currently has nearly 500,000 customers, created over 900 jobs and become the only Which? recommended energy provider.


OVO’s guiding principles are simplicity, transparency and fairness in all of its operations: making the energy industry easier for consumers to understand and making sure prices reflect the actual cost of doing business so customers know they’re getting a good deal.

O​VO​ Energy Ltd, registered office 1 Rivergate Temple Quay Bristol, BS1 6ED, company no. 06890795 registered in England and Wales, VAT No. 100119879

Additional terms and conditions
Please see below for full terms and conditions on 33% renewable electricity, 3-5% interest rewards, exit fees and saving claims.


1Monthly cost - Representative monthly direct debit costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying in advance by direct debit, including online discount.  All rates correct as of 2/3/2018, but may go up or down.

2Weekly cost - Representative weekly costs based on a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas).  All rates correct as of 22/11/2017, but may go up or down.

3Pay Monthly Savings claims: Saving based on the estimated annual cost of OVO Two year fixed tariff for a non-economy-7, dual-fuel, medium user (3100 kWhs elec. and 12500 kWhs gas) paying monthly in advance by direct debit, including online discount. Comparisons made against the average of the Big 6 standard variable tariffs with equivalent features. All rates correct as of 2/3/2018.“The Big 6” are British Gas, Scottish Power, SSE, Npower, E.ON and EDF.

4Pay As You Go Savings are based on the average estimated annual costs for new PAYG OVO customers quoted through the OVO website (based on household and/or consumption information provided by those customers), compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/01/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT. Actual savings may vary according to your current supplier or tariff, individual tariff options, household information, consumption and location. 

We include almost twice as much renewable electricity as the national average: At least 33% of electricity in all of our tariffs comes from renewable sources. The national average, according to Ofgem as at March 2014 was 16.7%. For more information please visit this page.

33% of your electricity comes from renewable sources: 33% renewable electricity as standard as of 1st April 2015. Renewable electricity is generated from wind, solar, geothermal, wave, tidal, hydro, biomass, landfill gas, sewage treatment plant gas and biogas.

OVO Interest Rewards: Interest Rewards are paid on credit balances of customers paying by monthly Direct Debit. It is calculated at 3% in your first year, 4% in your second year and 5% in your third year (and every year thereafter) if you pay by Direct Debit. Interest Rewards are paid monthly based on the number of days you’re in credit and the amount left in your account after you’ve paid your bill. Full terms apply:

95% of new customers save when switching to OVO: Savings based on the average estimated annual costs for all new OVO customers quoted through the OVO website, compared to their current supplier and tariff. Comparisons taken between 01/05/2016 and 11/10/16. Incl VAT.

94% of surveyed customers would recommend us: OVO conducted a survey of their customers in between 1st January 2016 and 15th April 2016. Out of 15,312 customers who responded, over 94% rated OVO 6+ when asked 'how likely would you be to recommend us to a friend and family, on a scale of 1 to 10.

uSwitch's Energy Supplier of the Year 2017: OVO energy was voted and awarded  'Energy Supplier of the year' and best for: Overall Customer Satisfaction, Most Likely to be Recommended, Value for Money, Best Deal for You, Customer Service, Billing Services, Energy Efficiency, Meter Services, Online Services, Green Services and Transfer Process. OVO Energy scored a 96% customer satisfaction score.

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* OVO SolarStore (Beta), full terms and conditions:

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