Tuesday, 12 November 2013

Save energy, save money. Russian vs UK central heating issues…

This is a sponsored post.

It is also a true story… 

When we arrived in Russia 4 years ago, during the coldest winter for a decade, I was amazed by how super-heated the buildings were.  It was cold enough outside to freeze the inside of the lock on our metal front door (sustained lows of -25 degC for a month will do that), but the temperature in the house was always a balmy +23 degC.  Wearing much more than a t-shirt meant you were ridiculously hot, throwing the almost 50 degC temperature difference between indoors and outside into even sharper relief.    And it wasn’t just our home that was like this; almost all Russian buildings were as warm, if not warmer.

In a country where energy is cheap (petrol, for example, costs only 68p per litre here), most Russians will turn up the thermostat in winter rather than put on another layer of clothing.  And that is assuming that they even have a thermostat; in many buildings the heating is centrally controlled and is switched on mid-October, staying that way until the beginning of May.  This puzzled me.  What do Russians do if they feel too warm, I asked my Husband.  His answer was simple.

They open a window.  It might be -25degC outside, but they open a window.

This is all very well but aside from seeming incredibly wasteful, at some point in the next couple of years we will be returning to the UK.  Winters there may be warmer, but buildings are less effectively insulated and – crucially – energy prices are much higher. 

Not only will I have re-educate my children to put on a jumper when they are chilly inside, turn the lights out when they leave a room, and close the back door behind them as they run back in to find their missing backpack / trainers / swim kit when they leave for school in the morning, but we will need to bite the bullet when it comes to paying higher electricity and gas bills.  Anything that helps us as a family to consume less energy will be very helpful, which is why I was interested in E.ON’s current campaign designed to help their customers do exactly that.

As one of the leading energy suppliers to UK customers, E.ON recognises it has a duty to make sure that everyone has all the information they need to work out the best way to help save money and use no more energy than they need. The new E.ON Saving Energy Toolkit will put customers on the road towards running a more fuel-efficient home. If you’re already set up with an online account then you can get access to plenty of useful hints and tips as well as fantastic interactive tools. This includes a comparative feature which allows you to see how green your home is in relation to similar households in your area and charts and graphs which track the breakdown of your energy usage over a set period of time.

Whether it will give advice like ‘stop being such a wimp and just put on another layer’, however, remains to be seen…


  1. I used to strip down to shorts and a tank top as soon as I came in the door.

  2. I can't complain about the heat but during the summer it's bloody freezing indoors in the USA and you have to take extra layers to go to the movies or the shopping malls.

  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.


Go on - you know you want to...