Households will be asked to turn their boilers down to 60C as part of an £18million government campaign to cut energy bills.
It will be part of a two-pronged strategy led by Grant Shapps, the business secretary, which will also involve middle-income families receiving ‘eco’ grants to make their homes more energy efficient.
As part of the campaign, which will be launched in the coming weeks, households will receive technical advice on how to cut their energy this winter.
Advice includes telling households to turn down radiators in empty rooms and draft-proof their windows and doors.
They will also be told that they can reduce the temperature to which a boiler heats water before it is sent to the radiators – known as the boiler flow temperature – from 75°C to 60°C.
Downing Street decided to give the campaign the green light despite earlier concerns that it could be seen as an unwanted intrusion of a ‘nanny state’.
Sources in Whitehall were keen to push that back on Sunday, saying: ‘It’s not about telling people to wear an extra jumper and turn off the heating – that’s completely a bad idea, it’s not about to make people uncomfortable.
“It’s about giving people the agency to learn the tips and tricks for lowering their energy bills.”
Final preparations for the campaign are still underway, but it is understood that it will consist of a series of advertisements on TV, radio and on the sides of buses. The government will also use its social media channels and existing household help website to promote its advice.
Last month, Liz Truss faced a backlash from Tory MPs following her decision to veto a similar campaign aimed at encouraging the public to save on energy bills.
Senior backbench MPs expressed dismay after it emerged the then prime minister had blocked a publicity blitz hatched by Jacob Rees-Mogg, who was business secretary at the time.
Jeremy Hunt, the Chancellor, said: “With Putin’s war driving up petrol prices around the world, I know many families are worried about their energy bills this winter and beyond.
“Our extensive energy support program protects people from the worst of this crisis, but we also help people reduce their costs permanently.
“In the longer term, we need to make Britain more energy independent by generating more clean, affordable and locally produced energy, but we also need more efficient homes and buildings.
The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy is also launching a £1billion ‘eco plus’ scheme with hundreds of thousands of middle-income households receiving government-backed grants to insulate their homes .
Previous programs have focused on supporting low-income families, but this will focus on homes that are the least energy efficient and also fall within municipal AD tax brackets. Around 80% of the funding will be earmarked for these households, with the remaining 20% earmarked for the most vulnerable.
“The government has put in place immediate relief to support households following the rise in global energy prices caused by Putin’s illegal march on Ukraine,” Mr Shapps said.
“Today we are launching the first of many measures to ensure the British public are never put in this position again as we work towards an energy independent future.”
Mr Shapps will travel to Sizewell C nuclear power station in Suffolk on Monday to mark the finalization of the deal between the government and French state giant EDF to build a new nuclear power station.
The deal, due to be announced on Tuesday, will involve a government investment of £700million in what will be the first public backing for a nuclear project in more than 30 years.
In his autumn statement, Mr Hunt said the project would create 10,000 highly skilled jobs and provide reliable, low-carbon energy to the equivalent of six million homes for more than 50 years.
The Suffolk development has been hailed as a key part of Britain’s efforts to improve its energy security, although critics have balked at the cost and time it will take to complete it.
Nuclear power plants have become a key part of the government’s aim to boost energy security, with ministers hoping they will eventually produce 25% of the country’s electricity. They are also seen as an important way to achieve net zero goals.
On Sunday, Mr Shapps wrote to the chief executives of all national energy companies warning that direct debits from households should not increase as they make ‘enormous efforts’ to reduce their energy consumption.
He said he was “disturbed” to hear this, adding that when consumers take “sensible steps” to reduce their bills, it should be rewarded with lower charges rather than punished by seeing them rise.
“I am very keen for all providers to find a way to make their systems more responsive to these positive changes in consumer behavior and have asked Ofgem to report back to me on how this can be achieved.” he declared.
Meanwhile, Rishi Sunak will use his first major foreign policy speech Monday at the mayor’s banquet to say that a strong national economy underpins our relationship with our allies abroad.
He will argue that Britain needs to develop long-term plans to counter threats from Russia and China, and discuss the importance of the UK’s relationship with other European nations.
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