British Gas homes have seen an average 22% decline in gas consumption as more homes adopt energy efficiency measures, according to an independent report.
The British Gas Home Energy Report 2011, by the Centre for Economics and Business Research (Cebr), is the largest ever independent analysis of natural gas use in the home.
The research is based on 40 million British Gas meter readings over a four-year period. All the figures were weather-adjusted to show underlying trends in consumption.
The report found that British Gas customers who adopted simple energy efficiency measures such as insulation and energy efficient boilers saved an average of £322 each year, and saw a 44% fall in their gas use between 2006 and 2010, but some homes took no action at all.
Jonathan Thurlwell, director of competition economics at Cebr, said: “This report represents the largest independent analysis of domestic natural gas consumption representing nearly a fifth of the entire national market.
“Using detailed modelling techniques we were able to determine that energy efficiency measures are the primary driver of the average annual decline in underlying gas consumption.”
He added: “The message is clear: in a global environment of rising commodity prices the most effective way for households to reduce costs is through basic energy efficiency measures.”
Thereport also examined the future potential economic impact of energy efficiency on Britain’s housing stock and found that if all British Gas households adopted all the efficiency measures open to them, then these households could save up to £3.6bn over the next five years, equivalent to around £714m per year.