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A Third of Households Ignoring Potential Savings from Energy Efficiency Measures


36% of households haven’t taken steps to curb their energy usage, despite the cost and carbon savings.

By not adopting efficiency measures, 9.7 million households are paying “hundreds of pounds” too much for their energy, according to new research from Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust.

That’s despite the low hassle and low cost of many energy saving measures. The study estimates that just one small change, such as turning off appliances rather keeping them on standby, could collectively save households £690 million a year and keep 1.3 million tonnes of carbon out of the atmosphere.

However, 87% of Britons didn’t believe those small changes would have much of an impact on their energy bills, according to a survey conducted by the two organisations. 

A third (31%) of respondents didn’t see managing their energy use as a priority, while 19% believed adopting efficiency measures would involve costs.

Homes in Britain are responsible for around a quarter of the nation’s carbon emissions, making them one of the largest contributors, after transport. But nearly three quarters (73%) of respondents to Citizen Advice and the Energy Saving Trust’s survey were surprised to learn about the extent that households contribute to the climate crisis.

The two organisation released the figures to mark Big Energy Saving Week, an annual campaign to raise public awareness about the cost benefits of switching energy supplier and making their homes more efficient. The week is also being marked with more than 460 events across the country, dispensing advice about cutting energy bills and carbon footprints.

Laura McGadie, Head of Consumer Advice at Energy Saving Trust, said: “Our research shows that while great strides have been made by some households, more can be done and by more people. If every household in Britain made just a handful of energy saving changes, the combined impact could make a big difference to our finances and the environment.

“We are committed to inspiring everyone to make small changes to their energy saving habits this Big Energy Saving Week 2020 – particularly those who will benefit most from the money they could save.”

Earlier this week, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy released a list a ten ways households could boost efficiency and cut their energy bills. Many, including turning appliances and lights off, turning down the thermostat, and closing curtains at dusk, are cost-free. Others, including draught-proofing windows and doors and installing thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves, are low-cost.

Lauren Smith
Lauren Smith

Lauren Smith has worked as a journalist and copywriter for most of the last decade, covering technology, energy, and consumer rights, in the US and UK.

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