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Winter heating switch-on later than expected

People have resorted to switching on their heating later than expected this year, according to figures from energy company, npower.

The company - which supplies mains gas to homes around the country - had predicted that September 14 would be the date they would see a peak in enquiries and requests for assistance with boilers, coinciding with most people switching them on for the first time in months.

The peak did not come, however, until September 20, indicating that perhaps people were holding out for the Indian Summer that is not altogether unusual in September - or that they were simply being more energy aware.

npower's Chris Thewlis said that weather, money-saving and energy efficiency were all factors in the delayed date.

"Either energy efficiency measures which help to keep homes warm, such as loft installation and cavity wall insulation, are on the increase, or homeowners are choosing to save energy by avoiding putting the heating on just yet," he said.

Many people who have switched on their oil boilers for the first time this week may have experienced problems arising from the dormant summer period. Subscribing to an oil boiler maintenance scheme, such as those offered by Team Energy, can ensure that your boiler is in the best possible condition to emerge trouble free from the summer shut-down.