Brits fail to be energy efficient at home – by keeping heating on and ignoring draughts

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Nearly four in ten take longer showers than needed, and nearly three in ten use regular bulbs when replacing lights, rather than more energy-efficient LEDs.

It also emerged more than a third are aware of when they’re using more energy than they need – but do it anyway.

However, with 65 percent worried about the energy price cap increase, that looks set to change – as 62 percent plan to re-evaluate their habits to save money in the months ahead.

Marc Robson, a smart energy expert at British Gas, which commissioned the research, said: “There is lots of help available for those struggling with energy costs and advice on how to make everyday savings.

“It’s surprising how much you can achieve by making a few easy adjustments around the home.

“Every time I do a home visit with a customer, I am asked to find at least one small change they can make that will help them become more energy efficient.

“And it doesn’t just help them save on their bills – it’s good news for the environment, too.”

The research also found that 59 percent of Brits don’t realise the impact energy waste might have on their bills.

But two-thirds admitted they would soon stop doing wasteful things if they could physically see how much energy they were losing.

And 75 percent would change their habits if they were more aware of the money they could save by being more efficient.

More than one in five (21 percent) are already being regularly nagged by someone in their household for doing things that waste energy, with kids named the worst for this (17 percent).

Marc Robson, from British Gas, added: “We have a responsibility to help our customers save energy.

“It always helps knowing exactly where your energy goes, and that’s where smart meters can help.

“I go in and out of customers’ homes every day, installing smart meters and giving people practical energy saving advice to implement in every room.

“Once they can identify where their energy is going, they can take some simple steps to improve their energy efficiency and bring their bills down.”


  1. Ensure your radiators are working effectively. Bleed your radiators if they feel colder at the top to ensure they work effectively for you. There are lots of easy-to-follow guides and videos online. You can also fit foil panels behind them to reflect more heat into the room.
  2. Shutting out the cold. Draught excluders are available from most DIY stores, and they’re an easy and affordable way to draught-proof your home and could save you up to £30 per year.
  3. Look after your boiler. Regular services for your boiler can ensure it is working as efficiently as it should to warm your home. It will also prolong the life of the boiler, so it doesn’t need replacing anytime soon.
  4. Maximise energy efficiency in the kitchen. The kitchen is one of the most energy intensive rooms in the house, so do things like cleaning filters on appliances to ensure they run effectively. And when it’s time to replace items, ensure you opt for the higher energy efficiency rating.
  5. Get the help you are entitled to. Contact your supplier to see what you are eligible for. The British Gas Energy Trust is there to help anyone, not just British Gas customers. British Gas also has a Winter Fund to provide grants for customers with energy debt, which can be applied for here.


  1. Leaving the TV on standby
  2. Leaving appliances on when not in use e.g. TV/phone chargers
  3. Manually turning the central heating on rather than setting heating controls
  4. Leaving the TV on when no-one is watching it
  5. Leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth
  6. Leaving lights on in empty rooms
  7. Taking longer showers than needed
  8. Boiling a full kettle to make one cup of tea/coffee
  9. Leaving the tap running while washing up in the kitchen
  10. Leaving the heating on when no-one is home
  11. Turning the washing machine on when only half full
  12. Using inefficient light bulbs
  13. Putting food in the fridge before it has cooled down
  14. Setting the washing machine on a high temperature
  15. Leaving the heating on while the windows are open
  16. Putting off switching energy suppliers
  17. Leaving the heating on during the night
  18. Keeping the fridge door open for a long time unnecessarily
  19. Ignoring draughts
  20. Turning the dishwasher on when only half full

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