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How the problem of saving energy has changed over the last 60 years
8:00am Saturday 22nd December 2012 in NewsXtra
With the successful Queen’s Diamond Jubilee due to finish in a few days’ time a survey has shown how many aspects of life have changed in Britain in the last 60 years, including saving energy.
Cutting the bills has always been important aim for householders even in the 1950s. But what is different is the way residents have gone about it, the charity Age UK discovered.
Stourbridge expert Colin Priest, of Noreus Ltd, said he was fascinated to read that when the Queen came to the throne in 1952 nine out of ten people said they had taken steps to cut their energy usage with 72 per cent saying they had draft excluders while 75 per cent said they switched off lights when leaving a room.
Interestingly, 86 per cent of people said they now turned lights off when moving around the house and 87 per cent said they used energy saving light bulbs.
The number of people who now turned off a TV or radio when not needed had risen to 83 per cent compared to 66 per cent at the start of Her Majesty’s reign.
Sixty years later 80 per cent of people questioned in the survey said they had made changes to their home to save money with 75 per cent installing double glazing. Also 38 per cent had upgraded appliances for more efficient alternatives compared to only 3 per cent who did that in the 1950s.
Colin, who lives in Quarry Bank, said he was disappointed that only 42 per cent monitored their energy consumption.
That is why the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is aiming for every property to be fitted with smart meters by 2019.
The Managing Director of Age UK Enterprises, Gordon Morris, said: “There are still around 3.3 million older people in fuel poverty. That is why we are committed to supporting consumers to better understand their energy requirements, and to help reduce their energy use even further.”
However, Colin added that he was particularly interested to see that 60 per cent now had installed roof insulation compared to only seven per cent in the 1950s.
He said insulation was one way people could stop their bills going through the roof as the loft is one room that many people forget about even though that is where 25 per cent of household heat is lost.
Colin suggests spray foaming the attic with an environmentally friendly system such as the Icynene Insulation System which forms an air-tight seal and reduces heating bills by up to 50 per cent, saving the average home up to £600 a year every year.
“The survey makes fascinating reading,” said Colin, “and I expect these figures to keep on increasing over the next few years as the cost of energy is expected to rise sharply.”
For more details about energy-saving ideas call him on 0845 474 6641.
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