This is a guest blog by Jodie Dewberry, Performics.
We all know we could be doing more to save energy at home, but do we know how?
A recent survey by NatWest suggests not. The Household Bills survey, which asked homeowners and private tenants from all over the UK about their home energy habits, revealed that over 50% of us feel we could be doing more to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. Yet despite acknowledging the need to do more to cut back on our energy usage, only 23% have considered making use of the energy-saving measures available through the government and energy suppliers. This figure drops as low as 16% for the 18-24 age group.
Raising awareness must be a priority
But this may not be down to laziness or a reluctance to cut back; the survey also found that around 1 in 5 of those responsible or partly responsible for their household’s energy are completely unaware of the support available to them. With a fifth of British adults unaware of the support available to help them to reduce their energy bills, there is certainly room for the government to improve awareness and up-take of its energy-saving schemes and grants.
A large proportion of those consumers who are unaware of such programmes fall into the under-35 age group, but a significant number of over-65s have also not heard of the help available to them. Despite being a key target group for government schemes, 1 in 10 consumers aged 65+ are completely unaware of the grants available to help make their homes more energy efficient.
Energy consciousness across the UK
As well as looking into our general attitudes towards various energy bills, the survey also compared how these attitudes vary between regions within the UK. Unsurprisingly, and perhaps due to the high volume of renters, London was found to be the least energy-conscious region of all. As well as having the lowest uptake of energy-saving measures, such as smart heating and energy saving boilers, consumers in the capital were most likely to have no interest in saving energy or reducing the cost of their household energy bills.
At the other end of the spectrum, Wales was found to be the most energy-conscious region, with 94% of consumers claiming to be ‘very energy conscious’ or ‘fairly energy conscious’. Despite this, only 32% of those living in Wales have applied for, or considered applying for, energy-saving grants from the Government or energy suppliers, and an even higher percentage (27%) have never heard of these schemes before.
Where to find out more
From this research it’s clear that, as a country, we could be doing much more to improve the energy efficiency of our homes. The biggest issue is not necessarily a lack of ways to do so, but a lack of awareness of the help and support available to those wishing to make the change and benefit from energy-saving measures.
If you’d like to find out more, you can see the full results of the survey here. For more information on the energy-saving schemes available, visit the Energy Saving Trust website or try the Energy Grants Calculator.
Groundwork’s Green Doctor’s provide tailored advice and support to vulnerable households on ways they can save energy and money. Find out more here.