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18% Increase in Household Energy Use in 40 Years

By Katie Anderson on July 22, 2011

Official figures have just been released which show the amount of energy use in UK households has risen by 18% over the last 40 years.

Between 1970 and 2009, heating and appliances have driven up our gas and electricity consumption, despite the Government’s attempts to encourage people to insulate their homes and greener new homes being built. So much so, that figures reveal a rise in energy use by nearly a fifth in the past 40 years.

The use of domestic energy has increased from 37m tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) in 1970 to 44 in 2009, which has resulted in an 18% increase. Various causes have been attributed to the rise, including population growth, although energy use per household has decreased slightly, while the amount of energy use per person has increased.

We have undergone a considerable increase in our appetites for the use of electrical appliances, particularly computers and communication gadgets. Back in 1970, the number of UK homes with a dishwasher was few and far between and there certainly wasn’t the use of technology like there is today.

Perhaps what is the most interesting aspect about the briefing from the Office of National Statistics which accompanies the data, the overall increase in household energy use has come about in spite of a 32.7% rise between 1976 and 2008 in the number of homes having loft insulation, and a 31.2% increase in double glazing between 1976 and 2007.