The research showed that overheating homes costs Yorkshire households £12m a year, generating the same amount of pollution as a car travelling 239 million miles. The average annual saving for homes reducing their thermostat by three degrees is £174.
The ‘Wear Warm’ campaign was launched today after research undertaken by Utilita Energy, the only energy company created to help households use less energy, revealed that almost half of Yorkshire’s homes are heated to 24 degrees centigrade for half the year - the same temperature as Barbados.
Based on 48 per cent of the UK’s homes being heated to three degrees higher than the recommended healthy heat (18-21 degrees), an additional 13 million tonnes of CO2 is being emitted every year. That is the same pollution generated by seven million cars each year - 20 per cent of the UK’s cars.
In Yorkshire, around 45 per cent of houses are guilty of over-heating their homes.
To promote the importance of “getting cosy over getting costly” this winter, the ‘Wear Warm’ campaign will be featured nationwide at 660 charity shops, including big name chains such as RSPCA in York, Age UK, Citizen’s Advice and Mind.
Anyone keen to cut their heating bills can buy pre-loved winter garments - and keep them out of landfill.
The pro-planet campaign was launched by two of the nation’s sustainable heroes - former England goalkeeper and environmentalist, David James, and British fashion designer, Wayne Hemingway.
Mr James said: “One of my personal bugbears is seeing people sitting at home in the winter, wearing a T-shirt, with the heating cranked up.
“There’s absolutely no sense in it and now we have the evidence to reveal the impact that this type of behaviour is having on the planet and the pocket.
“For example, to offset the pollution generated by overheated homes here in the UK, we’d need to plant 51 million trees each year - that’s enough to cover 392,000 football pitches.”
Mr Hemingway said: “It’s bloomin’ obvious really. It totally makes sense to put another layer on and it makes sense on many levels; for the environment, for your health (cooler environments help prevent the spread of a number illnesses) and your pocket. Why wouldn’t you?”
Maria Chenoweth, CEO of Traid, has signed up its 12 charity shops to participate in the ‘Wear Warm’ campaign.
She said: “The UK is so fortunate to have a thriving network of 11,200 charity shops, on nearly every high street. Let’s use them to stay warm.
“If you need to replenish your winter wardrobe, buy second-hand. It’s one of the best things you can do for the environment, especially when you consider that 10,000 items are thrown into landfill every five minutes in the UK alone, while the global fashion industry pumps out 3.3 billion tonnes of greenhouse gases annually contributing significantly to the climate crisis.
“Traid’s charity shop rails are packed with affordable, high quality winter wear selected expertly by our sorting team. So, when your home starts to feel the chill, reach for your wardrobe – and your local charity shop – instead of turning up the heat.”