The UK has spent over £1 billion extra on heating during the recent spell of cold weather, according to new research.
Figures released by Faithful and Gould show that the low temperatures could have added an extra £37 over a fortnight on household gas and electricity bills for poorly insulated properties. Houses which are well insulated will have spent an extra £23 on energy in the cold snap.
Even with the 'heat island effect' created in built up areas, the research found that the average office will have paid almost £150 more on their bills during the fortnight of freezing temperatures.
The organisation estimated that this added up to an extra £1.2 billion spent on gas and electricity.
Ellie Horwitch-Smith, an energy management expert with Faithful and Gould, said: "As outside temperatures fall, the cold truth is that already inefficient buildings perform increasingly badly as heating systems struggle to maintain the indoor temperatures demanded of them."
She added that the £1.2 billion estimate was "conservative".
Recent research from the consumer group Which? found that poorly insulated homes could see their energy bills rise by 35 per cent by the year 2020.
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