The big green misconception

John Harris low res
Britain is an eco-friendly nation of homeowners, according to a new study commissioned by npower.

Of the 2,000 adults who were surveyed, three quarters (72 per cent) make an effort to be energy efficient in the home and almost half (48 per cent) identify themselves as ‘green’. However, while households may be confident they are striving towards an environmentally friendly home, the reality is somewhat different.

Findings show that, during the cold snap, the majority of homes (51 per cent) put the heating on, with a fifth (22 per cent) simply turning up the thermostat when the temperature dropped instead of reaching for an extra jumper. 

In addition, while households state they are taking steps to be energy efficient, almost two fifths (38 per cent) have not installed any improvements to help reduce their energy consumption and eight out of ten (85 per cent) do not worry about the environment when they turn their heating up.

Indeed, the research also identified a lack of understanding around the benefits of energy saving improvements and behaviour. Less than a quarter (23 per cent) recognise such steps could keep their home warmer and only 50 per cent know they lead to cheaper bills.

David Titterton, Green Deal & Obligations director at npower, said: “Staying warm while keeping costs down is a key priority for households, both of which can be achieved by installing energy saving improvements. What’s more, some households are eligible to receive these improvements free of charge and others can benefit from the government’s new Green Deal initiative which enables them to install improvements without having to pay all the costs upfront – helping them reduce energy usage and save money straight away.

“While many homes in the UK are very energy-conscious and are making an effort to enhance their home’s energy efficiency, the majority could still benefit from improvements which for some are available free of charge or for others through the Green Deal. From insulation to boiler replacements, there are a range of simple and straightforward improvements to keep homes warmer while reducing energy usage.”