E.ON has targeted expectant mothers in Nottingham to raise awareness of energy efficiency.
The new campaign, which was hosted at the energy supplier’s Open House building on Lister Gate last month, was set up to help young families understand the extent to which newborns increase domestic energy consumption.
E.ON organised the event in Nottingham following the publication of a report on energy usage among young families in the area. Carried out by Vision Critical in March, the research found that 66 per cent of new parents here used significantly more energy in the first eight weeks of bringing their newborns home from hospital. 20 per cent of respondents described the jump in usage as ‘considerable’.
Quite aside from the fact that many new parents spend hours awake each night with the lights on, household energy usage is likely to increase following the arrival of a baby as parents aim to maintain a warm temperature throughout the home so central heating costs can spike during the first months of a child’s life, but steps can be taken to reduce consumption without causing the home to become cold.
Loft and cavity wall insulation, for example, can be installed to increase heat retention in the home. Double glazing can achieve a similar effect, whilst replacing old central heating controls can make a difference. Exchanging an old, energy inefficient boiler for one that uses significantly less gas and electricity may take time and cost money, but the rewards are such that parents can maintain a comfortably warm temperature throughout the home whilst reducing annual energy bills.
E.ON hopes that the expectant mothers who attended its awareness event last month learned from the experience.
Beverley Maguire, who works for E.ON as an Energy Efficiency Adviser, commented: “New parents are faced with lots of additional costs, but one thing they may not consider is how baby’s arrival will affect their energy consumption”.
Ms Maguire added that new parents change the way they use household appliances, drawing attention to a survey commissioned by E.ON which found that 26 per cent of new parents living in Nottingham add £30 to energy bills within the first two months of their baby’s arrival through additional washing alone. Ms Maguire urged new parents to “review their energy tariff” as soon as possible.