07 December 2009

Poll shows half of British homes using less energy

Over half of people in Britain have taken steps to reduce the amount of energy they use at home in the last year.

As governments prepare to meet in Copenhagen to discuss climate change, a new YouGov survey, on behalf of the Methodist Church, found that 55% of people have cut their home energy use by switching to low energy bulbs or switching appliances off rather than using standby, for example. By doing so, they have both saved money and cut their carbon footprint.

The survey showed that older people are more likely to have cut their energy consumption than younger people, with 64% of over 55s taking steps to reduce energy consumption against 33% of 18 to 24-year-olds. And Londoners are lagging the rest of the country, with only 45% of people in the capital cutting their energy use in the past 12 months.

The survey also found that 22% have bought more locally produced goods or food, both helping their local economies and cutting the greenhouse emissions caused by transporting items over long distances. And 19% have driven less, switching instead to public transport, cycling or walking.

The Revd David Gamble, President of the Methodist Conference, said: "These results show that people are already doing things that cut their carbon footprint, whether they know it or not. Helping to save the planet can often also be a way to save money. People might feel powerless in the face of climate change, but there are things we can all do."

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2005 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 27th - 30th November 2009. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+). Further data is available on request.

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