UK spends £78 million on heating homes for pets

27th January 2016
Image credit: iStock

Image credit: iStock

Pet owners in the UK are spending around £78 million a year to help ensure pets are comfortable when they are left at home on their own.

People are shelling out extra on gas and electricity because they are leaving heating, TVs and radios on when they go out to avoid their pets getting cold, stressed or lonely when left in the house without any people.

The Energy Saving Trust has found that this can impact energy usage, with around 43 per cent of pet owners leaving their heating on throughout the day during the winter months to ensure their pets are kept warm.

Owners are also using electricity when not at home, with 26 per cent saying they put the radio on and 15 per cent admitting to leaving the TV on in order to keep their pets company when they are left on their own.

It is estimated that the amount of electricity used to keep pets company and happy when their owners are out could light around 56,000 homes for 12 months.

This also equates higher energy bills, as leaving the heating on all day for your pets – which is something 53 per cent of dog owners and 47 per cent of cat owners admit to doing – could mean you’re paying an extra £140 a year!

We all love our pets and want them to be comfortable whether we’re in the house or not, so you may think that these extra costs are definitely worth it. However, you might not need to shell out as much on extra energy as you think.

Your pets are very different from you and some people have suggested that cats and dogs don’t actually need a room to be as warm as you may like it. They are designed for outdoor living, with the winter season meaning they grow a thicker coat to help deal with the cold, so keeping the house heated all day isn’t needed.

Rosie Barclay, chairwoman of the Association of Pet Behaviour Counsellors, suggests that the best option for helping to keep your pets comfortable while you’re out is to allow the temperature to lower gradually after you’ve left and then rise once you are at home.

You can achieve this by programming your heating to come on and turn off at certain times, as well as remain at a set temperature, rather than overheating, which can make your home more comfortable for you and your pets.

Investing in our Smart Radiator Valves is an easy way to do this, as you can programme them to turn on and off at the right times so you aren’t leaving your heating on all day. You can also set the best temperature, keeping your home heated to a comfortable level.

Energenie’s Mi|Home range is also a great option, as you can control and monitor heating and electricity usage via an app. This means that lighting and heating can turn on at a touch of a button when you are away from home so you can be assured of your pet’s comfort.

When it comes to leaving your radio or television on when you’re out, Ms Barclay recommends avoiding this altogether as it could actually trigger stress or separation anxiety in your pet. This is because they will come to associate you switching these appliances on to be a sign that you are leaving and they’ll be alone.

It is much better for your pet – as well as your energy bill – to leave them with toys and treats that will keep them entertained when you’re out.

For more ideas on how Energenie can help automate your home and save you money, have a look at our Eco and Electrical range.

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