Word on the Street: Heating costs a worry

By A Reporter   |   IOM Reporter   |
Friday 12th November 2021 5:00 pm
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Public opinions on gas prices and energy bills - Joan Wood and Bob Wood (Anagh Coar)

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With gas prices rising by 27.5%, an increase of 2.1p per unit, the Isle of Man Examiner asked the public if they were worried about heating costs this winter.

Jayne Paton, of Kirk Michael, is concerned about turning her heating on.

She said: ’I’ve only ever had gas in my house and I work from home, so I’m conscious I don’t want to put the heating on.

’In the morning it comes on for 45 minutes and then I hide in my office, I shut the door and I have a little electric heater on the floor to keep the room heated. The rest of the house will be cold but I’m okay.’

The 52-year-old added: ’I’ve kept my bills for the last five years so I want to see the effect, because 27% is a huge amount.

’I’m due a bill at Christmas. I’m concerned how I’m going to afford it in the future because it’s the long-term effect.’

Amanda Shields, whi is52 years old and from Douglas, agreed and said: ’I don’t use gas but have oil and we also have two log-burning stoves which, over the Christmas period, we will light.

’Because of this we won’t turn the heating on, we’ll leave them lit and have it constantly ticking over.’

Manoj Patel, of Port St Mary, doesn’t use gas but is worried about ’all prices going up’.

The 58-year-old said: ’The oil has gone up year on year to the point of high percentage. It just comes out of your daily pay packet and they aren’t going up as quickly as the rate of increase in those commodities really, so it is worrying.’

Despite this, he is not worried about putting his heating on.

’I have the luxury that we can afford it but we do feel sorry for people who can’t afford it because they have to make a choice on heating which, in this day and age, you shouldn’t be making a choice on that.

’I think it’s come at a bad time generally with Covid and then winter coming in and everything else.’

Jo Whittle, from Ramsey, has lived in the island for seven years after she moved from London. She didn’t feel she was as anxious as others about the rising costs.

She said: ’I’m used to the fact that phones cost more, electric costs more, gas costs more and maybe I’m in a privileged position but to me, it’s outweighed by some other benefits.

’I know I’m maybe in a lucky position but I’m not paying £25 a day to get in and out of London for work.

’It frightens me and I’d like to go into the winter with a decent amount of money in my account so that I’m not frightened to put the heating on but I can cope - I’ve got to cope.’

Bob and Joan Wood, of Douglas, use gas. Joan, 68, said: ’I wouldn’t say we’re worried but it is a concern, especially for people who haven’t got the money for it, that’s what’s worrying.

’We haven’t had a bill yet but we are being careful, we’ve noted that [the price rise] is going to happen.

’We are careful with paying our bills on time, but we’re just not wasteful so it is making me think a lot more actually.’

When asked if they were being more careful about using their heating, they both replied ’definitely, without a doubt’.

Joan said: ’I’ll put a jumper on rather than leaving the heating on, that’s what I do if I start to feel the cold a bit.’

Bob added: ’She puts it on. I switch it off.’