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Does Southwark need to put a jumper on and turn the heating down?

An energy company that tries to reduce how much energy people use is calling on Southwark, along with the rest of the UK, to put a jumper on to fight the climate crisis and save money.

Utilita Energy has unveiled national stats which, adjusted for Southwark, claim that just under 50 per cent of all homes in Southwark are heated to the same average temperature as Barbados. The figures are likely to raise eyebrows on estates such as the Aylesbury, which are plagued by faulty boilers and condemned to freezing winters.

Their new consumer behaviour change campaign, called “Wear Warm”, is calling on 13 million UK households – 82,000 of which are in Southwark – not to heat their homes any higher than 21 degrees and consider other ways to keep warm instead.

Secondhand shop chain TRAID has also signed up its twelve charity shops – one of which is in Peckham – to participate in the campaign.

Infographic made using Canva

Maria Chenoweth, CEO of TRAID, said: “When your home starts to feel the chill, reach for your wardrobe – and your local charity shop – instead of turning up the heat.”

The benefits of turning down the thermostat are, claim Utilita, two fold. Firstly, the carbon emissions from heating our homes to this temperature much is significant – especially given the climate crisis currently being discussed in Glasgow for COP26.

In Southwark’s 82,000 households, just under 50 per cent heat their homes to more than the recommended healthy heat of 18-21 degrees, which creates the same pollution as a car travelling 67 million miles.

Utilita Energy’s Sustainability lead, Archie Lasseter, stated that if every household made a pledge to stay within 18-21 degrees, the UK would hit its net zero obligation almost two years ahead of its deadline.

The company also state that average annual saving for homes reducing their temperature by three degrees is £174. This means in total, there would be a £14m saving for households in Southwark.

The ‘Wear Warm’ campaign will be featured nationwide at 660 charity shops, including big name chains such as RSPCA, Age UK, Citizen’s Advice and Mind.

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