A recent report by the European Commission shows that UK energy use fell by more than 5% between 2000 and 2008.
The UK is one of Europe’s top performers on energy, showing a promising decrease in the amount of energy used by the country as a whole. Only Denmark and Ireland managed larger cuts in energy use.
Reduction in energy use
According to the report, the UK is the only major European economy that has managed to reduce energy use. Countries such as France and Germany didn’t do quite so well, with Germany’s consumption remaining the same, and France’s increasing by 7%.
Collectively, EU countries cut energy consumption by 10% over ten years and are aiming to reduce energy consumption by 20% before 2020.
Energy is more expensive
There are a number of factors contributing to the reduction in energy use in the UK, not least the contributions made by industry. However consumer behaviour will also have had some effect, with many consumers making their homes more energy efficient by installing installation, solar panels, and other eco measures.
The rising cost of energy and the recession will have had an impact too, with consumers turning the thermostat down to avoid large heating bills over a particularly tough winter.
Which? senior advocate Jenny Driscoll says:
“Obviously it’s good news that we’re lowering our energy consumption but we must know why people are cutting back on energy, especially if one of the reasons is because people cannot afford to heat their homes in winter.
“It’s important that government and industry do not sit back and say ‘our work is done’ but rather ‘what can we do next?’ While consumers are expected to use less energy it’s important they get good advice and services from the energy industry and government. People must be reassured that they will see lower energy bills as a result in investing in energy efficiency and not just meeting EU targets.”
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