Electric blankets could be ‘significantly cheaper’ option to keep warm

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With energy bills reaching record-breaking figures, households across the country are searching for ways to slash costs. One way suggested to tackle this is to invest in an electric blanket instead of running the central heating all night, but how much cheaper is it?

With an increasing number expected to face ‘fuel poverty’  this winter, campaigns, such as Money Saving Expert’s ‘Heat the human not the home’ are on the rise, in a bid to help people cut down on central heating usage deemed as one of the highest contributors to energy bills.

In October, Google searches for ‘electric blankets’ spiked by 1,205 percent compared to the average over the past five years, reflecting the surge in interest amid soaring energy prices.

James Haynes, branch manager at A-Plan Insurance, commented: “The UK has already dealt with skyrocketing bills over the past few months due to inflation and the soaring costs of wholesale oil. Now, we’re having to face the stark reality of the energy price increase in October.

“‘Electric blankets’ seeing a peak in searches compared to the past five years shows that many Britons are seeking ways to save money before the colder months hit.”

Lara Brittain, white goods category director at Currys told Express.co.uk: “We have seen an increase in searches and purchases of electric blankets.

“Sales stats have risen by more than 500 percent year on year, with electric blankets being cheaper to run, it is proving to be a popular choice for our customers as we head into the colder months.”

So, how much does it really cost to run an electric blanket and is it cheaper than having the radiator on all night?

How much does it cost to power an electric blanket?

To calculate how much it costs to run an electric blanket, the cost per unit of electricity will need to be taken into consideration.

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According to Ofgem, in October 2022, the cost per pence/kWh of electricity sits at approximately 52p after the recent energy price increase.

However, working out how much it’ll cost to run an electric blanket depends on a few factors.

Experts at Sleepseeker explained: “An electric blanket generates heat by running electricity through wires in the fabric. Each electric blanket will have a different power rating and the overall cost will depend on the rating on your blanket’s label.”

But to provide an example of costs, Sleepseeker experts have used an approximate power of 100W, as this is most common for an electric blanket.

They said: “First, you need to convert to kilowatts (kW). 100W is 0.1kW (or 100 divided by 1000).

“Then you simply need to multiply this by the pence/kWh unit. This would be: 0.1 times 0.52 and equals £0.052.

“This means that running an electric blanket for one hour would cost just over 5p in October 2022.”

So, based on the above example, running an electric blanket will cost people around 42p a night, based on eight hours of use.

Sleepseeker experts commented: “This is obviously significantly cheaper than having your central heating on all night, and for a smaller 50W or 60W blanket, you’re looking at even less.”

However, for those looking to save as much energy as possible while running an electric blanket, there are a few simple things to keep in mind.

  • Timer: Many electric blankets come with a timer, which is a great way to save energy. People can simply set it to turn off after a set period, so it’s not left running all night.
  • Variable power and heat settings: With a variable temperature setting, people can use just enough to stay warm and increase or decrease it as needed, instead of keeping it on high.
  • Prepare in advance: Preheat the blanket – rather than blasting it on a high heat before getting into bed, put it on a low heat further in advance to use less power.
  • Stay low and add heat when needed: Start using the electric blanket on low heat and if needed, give it a slight increase for a short period of time.

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