NEWS28 November 2022

Consumers saving energy to reduce emissions, says Savanta

Cost of Living News Sustainability Trends UK

UK – Almost a third of consumers see reducing energy consumption at home as one of the most important ways to lower their carbon footprint, according to research from Savanta.

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The research, from Savanta’s Sustainability segmentation 2022 report, found that 30% of people felt using less energy at home was the most important action to reduce personal carbon emissions, followed by recycling ( 29%), reducing food waste ( 26%) and driving an electric vehicle ( 17%).

However, 25% do not trust those in authority to do what’s right in general when it comes to sustainability, while 17% said they have confidence that solutions would be found to the biggest problems currently facing the world.

The findings are based on a nationally representative online survey of 5,005 UK adults with fieldwork carried out between 11th April and 28th April 2022.

Consumers said that the first step to reducing domestic energy usage was deploying energy-saving light bulbs, with 66% having installed them.

Other domestic energy saving measures adopted by consumers included cavity wall and loft insulation ( 34%) and replacing white goods and appliances with more energy efficient models ( 30%).

Almost half ( 46%) would consider installing triple glazing, 44% said they would get solar panels for their homes and more than a third ( 37%) would consider replacing their gas boiler with an air or ground source heat pump, Savanta said.

It also found that 35% of respondents have family or friends who have installed additional cavity wall or loft insulation, a quarter know someone who’s put in solar panels and 10% know someone with a heat pump.

Dr Nick Baker, chief research officer at Savanta, said: “Insulation, heat pumps and solar panels may be at the top of the UK’s agenda this winter, but the behavioural change has little to do with eco-thinking or government education programmes.

“Rather, the sharply-rising cost of energy is forcing people to accelerate carbon cutting out of necessity, rather than virtue. Consumers are looking at ways they can save money on the back of the cost-of-living crisis.

“While the need to reduce domestic energy bills may be the driver, the outcome will be a net reduction in domestic carbon emissions.”