UK household energy consumption drops by 24.7%

Household energy usage in England and Wales has fallen by almost a quarter since 2005, according to Office for National Statistics (ONS) data released today.

ONS area based analysis for household energy consumption in England and Wales between 2005 and 2011 reveals that all of the English regions and Wales consumed 24.7% less energy per household during the period, a drop from 26.2 megawatt hours (mWh) in 2005 to 19.7mWh in 2011. Over the seven years, households in the East Midlands consumed the most energy consumption each year; however this usage was reduced by 29.4%, from 39.0mWh per household in 2005 to 27.5mWh in 2011.

The ONS data shows that on average, households in the milder climate of South West of England used the least energy for five years during the period and Wales achieved the lowest energy consumption per household in 2005 and 2011.

According to the BBC, consumers may be using less energy and economising because of sharp rises in energy bills, which are said to have increased by 28% in the last three years. However, more households are taking energy efficiency measures, such as installing insulation, double-glazing and new boilers.

Public awareness of energy consumption and environmental issues is said to be increasing and the UK government has been making efforts to encourage lower energy usage with the introduction of the Green Deal initiative, where various energy efficient improvements are offered to householders at no upfront cost. This includes work such as cavity or loft insulation and the resident will eventually pay for them through small payments taken out energy bills.

In addition, smart meters are to be installed in 53 million homes by 2020. These meters provide householders with a measurement of exactly how much energy they are using at any given time.