Octopus Energy is giving away 10,000 free electric blankets to their customers amid soaring gas and electricity prices.
The blankets will go to the provider’s “most needy and vulnerable” households as part of its support for those worrying about bills.
The energy company said its research shows the typical home could save £300 by using an electric blanket to keep warm rather than always heating the whole house.
How can an electric blanket help with my energy bills?
Octopus Energy said it found heating a whole home costs around £4 a day whereas using an energy-efficient electric blanket can heat a person for just 2p to 4p an hour.
Analysis on customers who got an electric blanket found they saved up to 10-20% on their bills on average in the Winter months.
This means an electric blanket could be a vastly more cost-effective way to stay warm.
They may be particularly useful for people with mobility issues, for example, and those who spend a lot of time in one spot, or those with medical issues that mean they feel the cold more, or are more prone to illness.
How should I use my electric blanket to keep warm?
To get the most out of your electric blanket, Octopus Energy recommends:
- Using it as a throw over your body to keep you warm, rather than as a mattress topper
- Heating the blanket up at the highest setting for a few minutes and then reduce the setting down to a medium setting for longer use
- Not folding the blanket as this may impair the heating functionality
- The heat may appear “patchy” to the touch but the blanket works by creating a halo of heat around you and is working effectively
- Position the connector of the blanket at your feet and keep it unobstructed to avoid overheating
- Make sure children are not left unobserved with the blanket
- Be aware of Scottish Fire and Rescue Service guidance
How do I apply for a free blanket?
Octopus Energy said if you can afford it, please consider buying one yourself. The company has 10,000 blankets to give away, 3,000 more than it had last year, and aims to prioritise customers “who’ll benefit most”.
They include the elderly, and those with mobility issues or other medical conditions that mean they’re more impacted by the cold.
You can register your interest on the energy supplier’s website and they will send you an application form.
What does the Fire Service say?
The Scottish Fire and Rescue Service (SFRS) has been urging people to stay fire safe as the weather turns colder and households look to keep warm and cut energy bills.
Due to the rise in the cost of living, it is expected more people will look at alternative ways of heating their homes.
On the use of electric blankets, the SFRS advised people of the following:
- Never leave an electric blanket switched on when you’re in bed unless it’s marked ‘suitable for all night use’
- Ensure your electric blanket is tested and serviced in accordance with manufacturer’s guidance, in particular after the guarantee runs out. Manufacturers often recommend testing blankets every three years.
- Check the blanket, plug and flex regularly for damage (e.g. fraying fabric, scorch marks, exposed wires). If you’re in any doubt, don’t use the blanket
- Store electric blankets safely – roll them, don’t fold them