Is not good for you, according to the tonight programme on British TV recently. You can read for yourselves about the experiment here
The experiment lasted for just 5 1/2 hours before the journalist's core temperature showed he was experiencing mild hypothermia. Mind you, sitting there at 12C in a shirt and trousers for most of it I'm not surprised he suffered! He did eventually put on a thin jumper but I bet he wasn't wearing a vest!
As a demonstration it was very interesting to see just how cold your house has to be before your body suffers so I'm playing devils advocate here by asking the question, was the experiment a viable experience on what most people in fuel poverty experience?
I have to say straight up, we are not in fuel poverty which is gauged on whether you spend more than 10% of your income on fuel to keep your house in a satisfactory condition, (and presumably you warm?) see here
That does not mean though that we can guarantee to stay out of fuel poverty. Despite changing electricity suppliers, we have gained very little from a monetary point of view as year on year, the costs go up and less heating has to be used to compensate!
If I remember correctly, last winter our thermostat was set to just 14C. Heating was on for around 45 minutes in the morning to take the chill off the whole house. A similar burst was usually needed mid afternoon. Late afternoon the wood burner was lit. Oil lasted twice as long, our annual electricity bill was around the £350 mark, our water savings also fell due to judicious use of all water in the house.
Despite cold mornings recently we still haven't set the heating to automatic. We get up, put on dressing gown or jumper (whatever is to hand), turn the heating on as we prepare hot porridge and tea. We let the thermostat turn itself off twice then switch the heating off.
We both wear as many clothes as needed to keep us warm. Our hands do get cold and so we don fingerless gloves. Having watched the programme though and realising that DB may now be subject to these changes in his body (although to be honest, his BP and pulse rarely vary and we take them often enough to know), we may up it to 16C or even 18C should we have a really cold winter. We have budgeted for this increase and realise we are lucky to be able to do so.
Read Frugal Queen's blog entry for today where she gives tips on how to keep you and your house warm. Begin your day right, dress well, have a hot breakfast, hot soup for lunch, hot drinks throughout the day, a hot meal (soup again if necessary - don't know how to make soup, loads of stuff on-line), get into a warm bed wearing whatever you need to keep warm and you will get through.
We don't have an electric blanket as I find them uncomfortable. DB warms a microwave bag for his feet, I give my bit a quick blast with the hair dryer for less than a minute and jump in!