More than a third of Brits ‘paying more for their energy’

Around 9.7m households have not taken steps to change their home energy usage, despite the opportunity to reduce their energy bills and contribute towards cutting carbon emissions

More than a third of households in Britain could be paying “hundreds of pounds” more for their energy than they need to.

That’s according to new research from Citizens Advice and the Energy Saving Trust, which found 36% – equivalent to 9.7 million households – have not taken steps to change their home energy usage, despite the opportunity to reduce their energy bills and contribute towards cutting carbon emissions.

It estimates even one small change, such as turning appliances off rather than keeping them on standby, could save households around £690 million in total and avoid 1.3 million tonnes of carbon being emitted.

A survey conducted by the two organisations also found almost three quarters (73%) of people are surprised to hear the extent British homes contribute to global warming.

Homes in Britain are responsible for around 25% of carbon emissions, making them one of the biggest contributors in the UK.

The vast majority of households (87%) also believe small changes will make little or no difference to their finances and a third of respondents don’t consider managing their energy use as a priority (31%) or think it would cost them something to control it (19%).

The news comes as the Big Energy Saving Week – a campaign focused on raising public awareness about the potential benefits of switching energy suppliers or tariffs and educating people on how to best make homes more energy efficient – kicked off yesterday.

Laura McGadie, Head of Consumer Advice at Energy Saving Trust said: “Our research shows that while great strides have been made by some households, more can be done and by more people. If every household in Britain made just a handful of energy saving changes, the combined impact could make a big difference to our finances and the environment.

“We are committed to inspiring everyone to make small changes to their energy saving habits this Big Energy Saving Week 2020 – particularly those who will benefit most from the money they could save.”

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy yesterday produced 10 top tips to enable households to reduce their energy consumption and eventually save money on their bills through everyday actions.

More than 460 events are taking place across the country this week to help people get advice, save money and reduce their carbon footprint.

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