With weather conditions set to plummet below freezing and the icy ‘Beast from the East’ storm fast approaching, students have been left shivering, bundled amongst layers in a bid to minimise heating costs.
The Met Office’s yellow warning of snow across Cornwall this Wednesday has left students struggling whilst encapsulated in their high tog duvets trying to prevent high-cost heating bills. The freezing conditions predicted to go below minus five on Sunday, have meant that students have no choice but to part with their money or shiver and save, with most doing the latter.
Turning up – or in some cases on – the heating has now become a luxury to many student houses in Cornwall, putting them at risk of suffering from health-related conditions in order to save the pounds.
Speaking about her own experience, third-year Creative Writing student, Ellen Dodd, told Truthfal about how she’s suffered financially to protect her health as the temperature dropped: “It was either pay out money or impact my health and I couldn’t have it affect me – not in my final year of uni!”
Sam Dadd, a third-year Television student at Falmouth University, lives in a house in which bills are not included with rent and instead are topped up on a meter – a financial hassle felt by many students: “It means that whether or not we’re putting the heating on at 8 am or throughout the day, it costs a lot more for us. We’re trying to save the electricity as well so there isn’t as much to worry about.”
In doing so, students are undergoing preparations to avoid low temperatures, but is this necessarily the right course of action?
“We just wrap up in blankets or put extra jumpers on to try and save as much heat in the house as possible.”
However, looking around it seems that some students have a more positive reaction to how they’ve dealt with heating throughout the weather crisis, and there seems to be a common link.
Speaking to TruthFal, Exeter student Dylan Ball rents a house in which bills are included.
Similarly, Exeter student Phoebe Meredith also has bills included in her rent saying: “It’s a fair use policy, but we’ve never had a warning so it’s all been fine.”
“I think it’s better overall, to be honest, it doesn’t cause arguments over bills and things like that.”
Estate agents throughout Falmouth have contacted students in the months prior to warn and prepare them for how to prevent issues such as mould and condensation.
In a letter sent to residents, Digs Property suggested that: “heating needs to be turned on for a couple of hours in the morning and in the evening (appropriate to how cold it is outside and how well the house is keeping in the warmth)”.
Whether or not this will really suffice in the upcoming weeks might be the least of our worries, with students living off campus and buses unable to operate in the freezing temperatures, it seems as though winter is really coming.