With escalating fuel costs, UK consumers have sought out energy efficient devices and gadgets to try to mitigate the rise in their bills.
Air fryers, electric heated rails and electric blankets are alternative appliances to energy-hungry tumble dryers and ovens; these have proven so popular that retailers are struggling to meet demand.
Home goods retailer Dunelm has depleted its stock of heated airing products which facilitates the drying of clothes without the use of a tumble dryer. Meanwhile Aldi are awaiting restock for its popular heater airer which sells at £39.99.
Lakeland is a British retailer that specialises in homeware and baking goods; it has seen ‘unprecedented demand’ for products such as the heated airers. Some consumers have taken to social media to express their frustration at wait times and customer service issues.
“The current cost of living crisis has driven unprecedented demand for products in recent weeks and months – particularly those that save energy, such as our Lakeland Heated Airers. Whilst our buying team have been working around the clock to source additional stock to keep up with demand, unfortunately, in the current climate, stock that would have once provided cover for a week, is now covering little more than an hour,” explained a spokesperson for the brand.
Air fryers can save considerable costs for households as an alternative to conventional ovens and they have become a highly sought -after appliance.
Sales of the fryers have grown by 200% year-on-year at supermarket giant Tesco, with other retailers such as frozen foods specialists Iceland also citing an escalation in demand.
Leading manufacturer Ninja has had to issue a warning against fraudulent websites trying to capitalise on the trend and offering ‘too good to be true prices’.
A spokesperson for Ninja said: “Following an unprecedented surge in demand for Ninja products, particularly our air fryers, we have become aware of a rise in fraudulent websites appearing to offer our products at greatly reduced prices. We would recommend any new or existing customers only purchase goods through the official Ninja website or via a reputable retail partner to ensure you receive our 5 star rated products as ordered.”
As the UK temperature drops, consumers are also trying to avoid relying on central heating and searching out alternative products to keep them warm at home.
Searches for the term “electric blanket” have shot up with an estimated 41,000 people researching the products this month, according to retailer Bed Kingdom.
The UK Energy Prices Bill, was introduced on the 12 October to “make provision for controlling energy prices” and supporting businesses and consumers with their energy bills this winter.
New Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt has however warned that the support which limits a typical household bill to £2,500 would need to be reviewed in six months, as part of austerity measures so it would cost “significantly less than planned”.
Whilst the Chancellor has committed to supporting ‘the most vulnerable’ it certainly seems to suggest most households would face further uncertainty about their energy costs. It is likely that demand for these appliances will continue to soar as consumers remain fearful with a tough winter ahead of them.