Homeserve Says Forget BST and GMT: CHT Sees the Real Beginning Of The British Winter

Oct 16, 2013, 04:00 ET from HomeServe

WALSALL, England, October 16, 2013 /PRNewswire/ --

  • More Brits see turning on the central heating as marking the start of winter than any other measure
  • 51% of households will finally have the heating on this weekend
  • Londoners least likely to hit the heating

Forget BST and GMT, this weekend officially saw the beginning of CHT - Central Heating Time, and with it the true start of winter, according to Britons.

New research from HomeServe, the home emergency specialists, reveals that the majority of the country will finally have switched their central heating on permanently this weekend, a milestone that one in three people (35%) see as marking the beginning of winter.

This is more than regard the clocks going back on 27 October as the start of winter (29%), even though that marks the end of British Summer Time, and well outstrips the actual winter solstice on 21 December (5%).

Some 39% of people already had their heating on every day; with a further one in 10 (12%) saying they will do so once temperatures drop below 10C - as happened this weekend.

As a result, HomeServe, the country's largest specialist home emergency insurer, is warning of a potential 39% increase in call outs for boiler-related incidents. During the brief cold snap in September, there was an 87% increase in boiler-related call outs week on week.

But despite this weekend seeing 51% of the country edge into CHT, a frugal one in six (16%) intend to wait until November - with three per cent toughing it out until December. Others claim they will wait until the first frost (3%) or even the first snow (1%).

True to stereotype, men seem less likely to put the heating on than women, with 47% entering CHT this weekend as opposed to 54% of women - which suggests there could have been some tense conversations on Saturday.

Yet not all stereotypes are true. Londoners were least likely to put their heating on permanently this weekend (41%), well behind Scotland and Yorkshire (51%). Meanwhile, East Midlanders and North Easteners are the most likely to turn to the thermostat (60% and 59%).

But CHT is not the only harbinger of winter. One in four (24%) feel the seasons have turned when they have to come home from work in the dark and one in seven (14%) when they have to change their duvet.

Yet for a minority, it seems that the TV schedules hold as much sway as the seasons, with 5% seeing winter having begun with the start of Strictly Come Dancing and The X Factor.

HomeServe CEO Jonathan King said: "Finally putting the boiler on every day is often a source of heated debate.

"As the temperatures drop, a broken boiler at the time when you need it most can be a miserable experience, not to mention an expensive one. With recent figures suggesting the average cost of repairing a broken boiler can be more than £300, we'd recommend everyone looks into boiler cover for their homes, as this can save not only money but also time and hassle of getting an engineer when you need one. To save further, we'd also suggest that you look beyond your gas company to find the best deals for cover."

Notes to editors:

Research was carried out online by Canadean Consumer Ltd among a representative sample of 2,000 UK adults in September 2013.

About HomeServe

With over 2,700 directly employed and sub-contracted engineers, Homeserve is a national emergency home repair service backed by a 24 hour claims handling and repair network

HomeServe's new tradesmen service provides households with access vetted tradesmen who are qualified to carry out hundreds of different jobs around the home

Homeserve also offers insurance cover for plumbing, drains, electrical wiring and gas central heating.

For more information, please contact: Natalia Thomas on +44(0)20-7861-3927,

SOURCE HomeServe