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August 16, 2013 7:14 pm
Energy consumption plunged by a quarter in England and Wales betweeen 2005 and 2011 as spiralling fuel bills forced households to cut back on energy use.
Figures released on Friday by the Office for National Statistics showed average household energy consumption fell from 26.2 megawatt hours in 2005 to 19.7 mwh in 2011 – a drop of 24.7 per cent.
The drop coincided with a sharp rise in energy costs, with the average dual-fuel household bill soaring 85 per cent over the same period, from £595 in 2005 to £1,101 in 2011, according to the comparison site uSwitch.com.
Energy UK, which represents the “Big Six” power suppliers, said the fall in use was largely the result of efficiency measures such as loft insulation and the replacement of oil boilers. It showed “how effective it is to insulate your home”.
“Britain’s homes are notoriously leaky, and energy companies have been busy improving properties to make them warmer and easier to heat,” it said. Smart meters, to be installed in all UK homes by 2020, “will help people further manage and understand their gas and electricity usage”.
Consumer groups said the real reason for the drop was higher fuel bills in tough economic times.
“The fact is, many consumers will have cut back in order to save money, in the face of spiralling prices and squeezed incomes,” said Richard Lloyd, executive director of the consumer group Which? “Consistently four in 10 have told us that they plan to cut back on future spending on their energy bills.”
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