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E.ON survey reveals families’ summer energy habits

By Katie Anderson on August 9, 2012

E.ON, one of Britain’s largest energy suppliers, has revealed the results of a survey that aimed to better understand families’ energy habits during the summer.

Some of the findings revealed little about energy usage, with parents spending more than 100 hours on average nagging their kids. 55 per cent of nagging is caused by children making a mess, whilst 32 per cent of parents become annoyed when their children express signs of boredom.

Significantly, 16 per cent of parents are concerned about energy usage during the summer break. Households traditionally consume less electricity and gas in July and August than at other times in the year. This is because the weather is usually warm, sunny and dry. Darkness falls at 9pm or later, so artificial lighting is used less frequently and the pleasant conditions ensure that central heating boilers are switched on only occasionally, if at all.

So, why are some parents worried about energy consumption during the summer holidays?

The answer probably has much to do with another statistic revealed by the survey. 32 per cent of parents have scaled back or cancelled plans for a holiday abroad or in another part of the UK, meaning more children are staying at home this summer.

Another factor to consider is that the summer of 2012 has been a damp squib to date, with rainfall breaking records in July and temperatures struggling to reach 20C. Beneath the clouds, many children are staying indoors, playing on electronic gadgets and watching television. According to the survey, 22 per cent of parents complain about their childrens’ reliance on television, computers and games consoles.

E.ON’s Energy Fitness Expert, Beverley Maguire, explained: “TV and games can be a great way to have fun as a family and keep the kids entertained, but we also know that increased use of electric gadgets over the school holidays is causing one in six (16 per cent) parents to worry about energy bills”.

Parents can reduce energy bills by ensuring that electronic gadgets are switched off (not left on standby) when not in use. Shopping around for the cheapest or most suitable energy tariffs can also save money, whilst installing loft or cavity wall insulation improves energy conservation, which is important throughout the year.