One in three unpaid carers are now spending ‘significantly’ more than last year looking after loved ones, due to the rising cost of living.
A poll of 1,000 people who care for others non-professionally found 78 per cent have spent more time this year ensuring the home of the person they provide care for is energy efficient.
And on average they have spent over £400 on things like changing the lightbulbs to LEDs (49 per cent), bleeding radiators (42 per cent), having the boiler serviced (35 per cent) and getting better quality curtains (36 per cent).
Furthermore, one in three (34 per cent) said getting a smart meter helped them to better manage their loved one’s energy use and bills.
As winter approaches, 94 per cent of those who help out at someone’s home consider it essential they get their home ready for the season.
Phillippa Brown from Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the study, said: “Unpaid carers take on a huge amount of responsibility looking after friends or family, and the cost of living crisis is only making their role more challenging.
“But it’s important to know that even small things can really help to ease the burden on carers and ensure their loved ones are prepared for the colder months.
“Getting a smart meter will help the person that you care for get accurate bills, remove the need to take meter readings, and allow them and you to track their energy usage more easily.”
Toughest financial crisis for 7 in 10 carers
It is not just costs which are rising, as 80 per cent have taken on responsibility for more aspects of life which they previously knew little about.
The most common things those unpaid carers have had to gain a detailed understanding of are managing energy use (65 per cent), food prices (61 per cent) and budgeting