by Michael Smith (Veshengro)
Despite ever-increasing fuel costs, the British public just can’t seem to get motivated on energy saving, regardless of our good intentions.
With energy costs at an all-time high and four of the ‘big six’ energy firms putting up their prices again recently, it is surprising to learn that 40% of us still leave the heating on all day and a third of us leave windows and doors open when the central heating is on.
Two thirds of people say they leave the TV on when they’re not in the room and almost half leave it on standby overnight, while 63% leave their mobile charging all night. Almost half of those asked say they still leave the tap running unnecessarily when brushing their teeth or washing up.
Although rising energy prices are quoted as being one of the biggest concerns for UK homeowners, almost a fifth of us still don’t have energy saving light bulbs, 29% overfill the kettle when boiling it, and only 46% of us would use extra layers of clothing or blankets when it gets cold instead of turning up the heating.
The study, which was conducted by Anglian Home Improvements to mark Big Energy Saving Week (22-27 October 2012), found that 40% of us still don’t have energy efficient windows or doors, even though around 30% of a home’s heat is lost through windows and doors, and only 44% of us have an energy efficient boiler.
Yet 82% of people say if they could make one simple change to become energy efficient they would, and 88% say that if making that change would be guaranteed to save them money over the next five years, they would do it.
TV presenter and environmental science expert Philippa Forrester has championed environmental issues for many years. She says, “In light of the latest news about rising energy costs, heating our homes and using electricity is going to cost us more and more. How high do prices need to get before we think about making fundamental changes to the energy efficiency of our homes? We can all stop money leaking out of our roofs, windows and doors and by reducing our energy consumption, we’re also reducing our bills and our carbon emissions, so we should all try to make it a top priority. Saving energy and saving money – it’s a win-win situation.”
Melanie McDonald, Head of Marketing and Communications at Anglian Home Improvements, says, “The cost of running a household is radically increasing due to rising energy prices and food inflation. So as we head into the winter months and energy consumption increases, it’s more important than ever for people to look at ways they can improve their energy efficiency. There are lots of quick, easy things we can all do straight away and there are also many ways in which homeowners can improve the efficiency of their property for the longer term. Installing the best thermal windows on the market, for instance, will ensure they get the maximum return on investment and benefit for many years to come.”
While in other countries homes by now at least have double-glazing, if not even triple-glazing, in the UK single-glazed windows are still the norm, and the councils and housing associations are lagging behind to upgrade their housing stock to enable those least able to afford wasting money on energy, namely social housing tenants, to afford to heat their homes. And when it comes to other forms of insulation the same is the case.
However, it is also true that the great majority of people are themselves, at times to blame, for wasted energy, as they have the heating running at 25C and more, but this is not just the case in homes but very especially in the offices and especially those of local and central government. In the very places where those that work there keep telling the people to turn down the heating to save energy.
It would appear that Britain still has a long way to go as far as energy-efficiency is concerned, and it is the same in so many other ways of going green.
Anglian Home Improvements is an Energy Saving Trust Recommended supplier and offers a broad selection of stylish and energy efficient products, including windows, doors conservatories, roof trim, solar panels and much more. For more information and to view the full product range, visit www.anglianhome.co.uk.
The research for Anglian Home Improvements was carried out online by Opinion Matters between 14/09/2012 and 28/09/2012 amongst a panel resulting in 1,160 respondents UK based home owners. All research conducted adheres to the MRS Codes of Conduct (2010) in the UK and ICC/ESOMAR World Research Guidelines. Opinion Matters is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and is fully compliant with the Data Protection Act (1998).
Established in 1966, Anglian Home Improvements is the UK’s leading home improvements company, responsible for the employment of 4500 people. With more than 45 years’ experience of providing UVPC double-glazing windows, Anglian ensures it is ahead of the competition with a continuing research and development programme. Anglian offers an extensive range of home improvement products, including double glazing replacement windows and doors, conservatories, driveways, solar products, garage conversions and roof trims.
Full Disclosure Statement: The GREEN (LIVING) REVIEW received no compensation for any component of this article.