Survey: 23 million homes missing out on energy savings

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With energy bills having rocketed by £224 or 21 per cent within the last year, consumers are continually looking for ways to cut back and save.

And while almost 23 million households are missing out on potential savings of up to £675 a year by not making their homes as energy efficient as possible, new research by uSwitch.com, the independent price comparison and switching service, reveals that people in the South East are less likely than the average Brit to have made their home energy efficient – almost a quarter haven’t done so.

For those in the South East who have tried to become more energy efficient, energy price rises have proved the biggest driver - convincing more than six in ten to take action.

Over half have acted because of warnings of higher bills in the future, but almost one in ten say they wouldn’t make their home more energy efficient at all.

But there are still a number of obstacles stopping those in the South East from making their homes more energy efficient. While almost half are put off by the cost, 15 per cent don’t believe the savings are worthwhile and 12 per cent actually disbelieve the savings. They are also the most likely to believe energy efficiency is a scam, with six per cent taking the cynical view.

For those worried about the cost, energy companies have a pot of money set aside to help consumers make their homes more energy efficient. In fact, some suppliers, such as EDF Energy, are even offering help to those who aren’t customers.

However, half of those in the South East don’t know that they can get help while just four per cent have benefitted from it.

Kevin Sears, energy efficiency expert at uSwitch.com, says: “In these cash-strapped times consumers are weighing up the savings they can make by being energy efficient against the initial outlay.

“For many the concern is whether the savings will outstrip the cost. But with winter approaching, and energy bills having rocketed by 21 per cent within the last year, it’s more important than ever that consumers are able to cut back on the amount of energy they use by being more energy efficient.

“Importantly, there doesn’t even have to be a cost involved in making your home more energy efficient. Energy companies have a pot of money to help customers make their homes more energy efficient so it’s worth checking with your supplier to see if they can help. EDF Energy and British Gas are both offering free insulation at the moment, so see if you can get some help with cutting your bills.”