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Majority of UK adults do not know how much they spend on energy

The results of a survey by YouGov and Rexel reveals that just 13% of people know exactly how much energy they have used and how much their bill will be.

Apparently, 81% of UK adults who receive energy bills do not know exactly how much they spend on energy, and more than a third (39%) admit that they only have a vague idea or no idea at all, about how much they spend.

The findings also show that there is a real lack of understanding amongst the UK public when it comes to how much it costs to power common household devices. For example, 81% of people do not know that it costs the same amount to power a 270 volt device as it does a 120 volt device. Less than half of respondents (49%) know that boiling a full kettle takes more energy than powering a fridge for four hours. Nearly one in three (31%) do not know that powerful televisions (such as flat screen, internet-enabled, and 3D models) cost more to power than a standard television.

Young people are the most in the dark when it comes to energy bills with just 5% of 18 to 24 year olds saying they know exactly how much they spend, as well as students (3%). The findings show that older and retired people are the most on the ball when it comes to managing their energy use. Some 33% of people over the age of 45 know exactly how much energy they use and what their bill will be, and 20% of those who are retired say that they know exactly how much their energy bills are, compared with 13% of working people and 12% of those aged 35 to 45.

Men are more likely to know how much they spend on their energy bills than women with 16% knowing exactly how much they spend compared with just 11% of women.

Brian Smithers, Director, Rexel UK, comments: “I was gobsmacked to discover such a widespread lack of awareness among UK consumers about energy costs. It appears that most people are in the dark when it comes to their energy usage, which is particularly surprising given the increased attention given to rising energy bills and the continued squeeze on household finances. It’s like handing over your bank account details without looking at the bill. Young people are particularly green about how much they spend. Their constant online lifestyles mean they use more energy than any other demographic. Yet, most have no idea that always being on their laptop, smart phone or iPad costs them more money than they think. Better monitoring and greater awareness about how much it costs to power everyday household devices would greatly improve people’s ability to keep bills in check.

“Easy to use monitoring technology that shows exactly how much energy devices are consuming and the associated costs are on the market today. The right tools will empower consumers to better understand how they can make simple alterations to their behaviour to reduce consumption, which is not only better for their bank accounts but for the environment as well.”

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