Research highlights energy wasting habits in UK

Paul Boughton

A massive 96 per cent of Brits are concerned about rising energy bills, but 69 per cent admit their household is using more energy than it needs to, according to new research commissioned by Navetas.
However, following recent increases in energy prices and the impact of the winter months on bills, the survey of over 1,000 British adults also reveals the vast majority are keen to change their energy-wasting ways, with 97 per cent of respondents saying they are trying to reduce their energy bills in 2011.
Energy wasting habits

The research reveals a number of ways that British households are using more electricity than necessary. Keeping appliances turned on or in standby tops the list of bad habits, cited by 56 per cent , followed by leaving PCs or laptops running when not in use (51%) and leaving the lights on in empty rooms (46 per cent). A third of Brits are also guilty of leaving TVs on in empty rooms.
In addition, around two-thirds (65 per cent) of households with a washing machine still wash at 40 degrees or above and 34 per cent use their tumble dryer at least three times a week. Around half set their thermostat to 21 degrees or above, with as many as one in five households opting for temperatures of 23 degrees or more.
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A focus on energy saving for 2011

For 2011, many Brits are turning to a variety of energy-saving measures to reduce their bills, but shunning bigger projects like solar panels or double glazing. Only 6 per cent of Brits have solar panels, with 81 per cent opting not to have these installed because they can’t afford it or they don’t believe they will recapture the initial expense.

Instead, British households are opting for more simple approaches that will make a more immediate impact on their energy bills, with the majority requiring simple changes in behaviour rather than an initial outlay.  These include replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient ones (85 per cent), using appliances more wisely, for example only filling the kettle based on how much water is needed (76 per cent), and putting the heating on for less time (68 per cent .

Chris Saunders, Chief Executive Officer of Navetas Energy Management, said: "With quarterly bills landing on doormats in April coupled with recent price increases, effective energy management is becoming imperative for many households. Currently, most bills only provide a total energy usage figure and that makes it very difficult for households to understand how they are using energy around the home.Consumers need detailed information about how and when they use household appliances and those that are the most energy-hungry.
"With these insights, consumers can take control of their energy use and focus their efforts on lasting behavoural changes that will make a significant impact on their energy consumption – and their bank accounts.”
Navetas is a UK-based technology company that empowers individuals, utilities and organisations to make better energy choices and find innovative new ways to reduce and manage energy consumption and minimise their environmental impact.

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