Brits cut back on summer energy usage for the first time, poll reveals
Image credit: Dreamstime
Some 28 per cent of Brits have said they’ve taken action to reduce their energy use this summer for the first time following soaring energy bills and a raising of the price cap to record levels.
Using a smart meter’s in-home display to see usage in near-real time, in pounds and pence, has shown to be a motivating factor when making small changes to households' energy habits. The survey by Smart Energy GB also found that those with smart meters were 23 per cent more likely to have adjusted their energy habits.
Energy-saving tactics include turning off unused lights (49 per cent), turning devices off at the socket (39 per cent) and disconnecting phone chargers at the mains (37 per cent). Whether these methods are effective at saving money is questionable, as the devices mentioned typically consume only small amounts of power.
The poll revealed that bill payers are now thinking about their energy usage up to twice a day, whereas previously it wasn’t being considered at all during the summer months.
Those who have adjusted their energy habits for summer say they’ve reduced their bills by an average of £22.09 per month – a potential annual saving of almost £270.
The UK is currently facing a cost-of-living crisis, with inflation hitting historic levels. The rising prices of energy bills – prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine – are the main catalyst of this situation, which could leave as many as 40 per cent of British families facing fuel poverty in the winter.
In May, Ofgem said the energy price cap is expected to surge again in October from £1,971 to £2,800 a year.
Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “Summer is traditionally a time that energy use and bills are pushed to the back of our minds, but the increase in energy prices this year has changed that.
“With the temperatures soaring over the last couple of weeks, people are even more mindful of how much energy they’re using in the home just to keep cool and want to understand how to keep bills as low as possible.
“Understanding your energy use can have a big impact on habits – shown by how much more those with smart meters are reducing their energy bills compared to those without. It’s difficult to change what you can’t see, so using a smart meter’s in-home display to monitor energy use in near-real-time helps you stay in control.”
Vicky Parry from MoneyMagpie added: “Summer is traditionally a time when daily household expenditure rises and this is often down to school summer holidays, keeping families entertained and spending more time together at home. This year we have the rising cost of food, fuel and energy to contend with too, and this research makes it clear that one in five Brits want more advice on how to save energy and money.”
Sign up to the E&T News e-mail to get great stories like this delivered to your inbox every day.