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Commonenergy mistakes costing homeowners hundreds of pounds each year

  •  Just 14% of Brits know the optimal room temperature
  •  East of England least energy efficient region
  •  Brits spend three times as much on decorating as making energy efficiency improvements

Households could be wasting hundreds of pounds a year in energy bills through a lack of basic knowledge about energy efficiency, according to new research from Anglian Home Improvements.

The poll of 1,000 adults looked into how energy efficient people are and revealed how a lack of knowledge is costing the nation’s homeowners money.

The research shows just 14% of respondents knew that the optimal temperature for a home is 21 degrees[1], with a quarter (24%) believing it to be higher than 21 degrees.

This lack of knowledge when it comes to heating the home could end up costing homeowners money. According to the Energy Saving Trust, £65 is added to the average annual heating bill for each degree Celsius that the thermostat is turned up.

Similarly, UK adults underestimate the amount of money that we spend powering appliances on standby mode. Almost one in five (17%) believe £41 to £50 annually is spent leaving appliances on standby mode, when almost twice this – £80 annually – is the average.

The results of the survey do not seem to link with how the public view their energy efficiency knowledge, as the majority of adults polled (70%) described themselves as being energy efficient.

Energy mistakes adults are guilty of:

  • 50% leave TV on standby
  • 44% leave plugs switched on
  • 35% leave phone on charge overnight
  • 28% leave the tap on whilst brushing teeth
  • 27% leave laptop on charge for more than one hour

The survey ranked regions on their energy efficiency based on eight different energy habits, such as leaving plugs switched on and boiling a full kettle when it’s not needed. The East/East Anglia came out as the least energy efficient region, followed by London and the West Midlands.

In comparison, the South-West proved to be the most energy savvy, with Scotland and Wales in second and third place.

Energy habits also seem to be a source of arguments for some couples, with over a quarter (27%) admitting to arguing with their partner about the topic. This proved to be an even bigger subject in the North-East, with 38% of people saying they argued with their partner about energy efficiency.

Despite the money that can be saved through being more energy efficient, the survey revealed more money is spent on the aesthetics of a property. Respondents said they spent on average £905.41 improving the look and decoration of their house over the last year compared to just £314.60 on boosting the energy efficiency.

Surprisingly, the energy efficiency of a new home is a big factor with many homebuyers, with 73% of the adults polled saying they take it into account when looking to purchase a new property.

Melanie Mcdonald, Head of PR and Brand Marketing at Anglian Home Improvements, said: “I think most of us would describe ourselves as being energy efficient, but it’s easy to forget all the little habits – like leaving the lights on when we leave a room – can lead to higher energy bills.

“The survey showed that energy efficiency is a big deciding factor in the house buying process, so we would advise anyone thinking of selling their home in the near future to focus on the efficiency of their property as well as the decor.

“Homeowners can get instant results on their energy savings by improving the quality of their windows. Switching from single glazing to our double glazed windows will save money and significantly reduce heat loss. Even replacing older double glazed windows to our modern A rated double glazed windows will make a difference.”

Regions ranked by energy efficiency (Most efficient to least efficient):

  1. South-West
  2. Scotland
  3. Wales
  4. South-East
  5. Yorkshire and the Humber
  6. East Midlands
  7. North-East
  8. Northern Ireland
  9. North-West
  10.  West Midlands
  11.  London
  12.  East of England/East Anglia
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