An Octopus Energy scheme to help their most vulnerable customers by giving them a free electric blanket has saved the recipients an average of £150 over three months last winter. Launched in January last year, the scheme has seen more than 42,000 of the blankets gifted to both senior customers and those with either mobility issues or other medical conditions which leave them more vulnerable to the cold. The program is just one of a number of measures introduced by Octopus to help support customers who are worried about their heating costs — alongside their £15million “Octo Assist” financial hardship fund and in-home energy saving advice.
Electric blankets are a very efficient way to keep an individual person warm — and even at the maximum setting, typically only cost a few pence per hour to run.
Octopus Energy said: “One of our boffins realised that some customers were paying to heat their entire homes, even if they lived alone.
“He did some calculations, and found that where heating a whole home costs around £4 per day, an energy-efficient electric blanket can heat a person for just 2–4p an hour.
“If you can, do think about buying an electric blanket yourself: they tend to cost around £60. Modern electric blankets, used according to their instructions, are safe and energy efficient.”
In fact, Octopus Energy conducted an analysis between December last year and this February comparing the energy usage of customers who had been given a free blanket with those of a similar demographic who had not.
They said: “The results confirmed just how efficient electric blankets can be.
“Customers with electric blankets saw a 20 percent fall in their gas bill, while only increasing their electricity use by 0.2 percent.”
This, they explained, added “up to an average saving of £150 across the three months.”
Octopus Energy’s Chief Product Officer, Rebecca Dibb-Simkin, told Express.co.uk: “We know many people are anxious about heating their homes during this global gas crisis.
“An electric blanket means you heat the human, not the home — staying warm for as little as 3p an hour.
“We’ve given out 42,000 blankets to our most vulnerable customers and we’re delighted that they’ve helped them stay warm and save £150 in only a few months.”
According to Octopus, the electric blankets they have been giving out are from Cosi Home and Dreamland — but, as they note, blankets can be purchased “in many other places, such as Amazon, Curry’s, Argos or Dunelm.”
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Customer response to the scheme has been “amazing”, Octopus told Express.co.uk.
Twitter user @Heygabagaba1 wrote: “Just testing out my new free heated throw courtesy of @OctopusEnergy and it’s bloomin’ marvellous!
“Freezing today but I’ve been able to avoid putting the central heating on. Thank you Octopus!”
Leeanne Denton tweeted: “Just received my heated blanket from @OctopusEnergy — perfect timing on such a cold day! Thank you so much!
“Yet another example of the excellent customer service they offer.”
And one Brian Bottomley said: “@OctopusEnergy — Thank you for our free heated throw!
“@DebBottomley is a very happy and warm person thanks to your support.”
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