Energy Efficiency in the Home - UK - July 2010
The report looks at energy efficiency in the home, both in terms of the purchasing of products that reduce gas and electricity usage and the adoption of consumer behaviour that cuts energy consumption. It examines attitudes towards domestic appliances, central heating boilers and controls, energy-saving lightbulbs, loft and other home insulation and generating renewable energy at home using solar panels or wind generation.
- UK homes account for around a quarter of all carbon emissions in the UK and the government has ambitions to encourage consumers to cut energy use. To date 2.2m homes have been insulated through government schemes by professionals and in addition to 38.8m square metres of loft insulation delivered through DIY stores.
- More energy efficient lighting has also been progressing with over 22m lightbulbs distributed, around 55% of which went through retail outlets. Insulation (62.3%) and lighting (28.9%) account for the bulk of carbon saved through this initiative. Heating accounts for 5.6% of savings with the remainder made up of renewed appliances and micro electricity generation and heat pumps.
- This has already affected retailing and many of the energy-using goods that householders buy. Mintel’s consumer research shows that the top three energy-saving products bought or installed in the home are energy-saving lightbulbs (65%), double glazing (59%) and loft insulation (53%).
- Lightbulb replacement has been helped by give-away schemes from energy suppliers and councils, as well as by the phasing out of old-style 60 watt and 100 watt bulbs. These are, by some distance, ahead of other kinds of energy-saving products such as wall insulation or insulating the hot water tank, illustrating the potential to encourage consumers to make more effort to make savings. This will need a combination of legislation, education and innovative products and services.
- Consumers already display sophisticated behaviour, demonstrating their awareness of energy-savings and their willingness to make lifestyle changes. More than half of consumers turn off the lights when leaving a room, only use a fully loaded washer or dryer, only boil as much water as needed in the kettle and control the heating to come on as required.
- 30m adults in the UK are taking positive steps to reduce their energy consumption and the ABs (66%) appear to be slightly more inclined to do this. But there is much more to do, as four in ten consumers have not made an effort to reduce their energy consumption. And even though many appliances have eco-settings, not everyone is making full use of them.
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