Residents’ energy habits analysed in major new study

Hastoe Group is taking part in a major new study looking at people’s energy use in the home and how they can save money on their bills – even when they don’t mean to. Over 50 Hastoe residents are having their energy habits monitored over the winter months and the best motivators for reducing energy use analysed.
 The National Energy Study Two follows an earlier study conducted by consultancy Sustainable Homes which found that regular feedback could help residents save up to £80/year on their energy bills. The study also found that that many homes were using considerably more energy than expected by the Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP), a measure used by both government and industry to analyse energy use in homes, this having implications for the drive towards ‘zero-carbon’ homes.

Sue Chalkley, Chief Executive of Hastoe Housing Association said:

“With energy costs rising all the time we really need to understand better how our residents use energy in their homes so that we can help them save money whilst staying warm over the winter. Looking at what motivates people to save is a vital area of research and it’s great to be part of a study which will help inform the Government and other housing associations around the UK.”

Some 2.3 million households are still living in fuel poverty – meaning they struggle to afford to keep warm – and despite improvements to homes, rising energy prices mean that without action this figure is set to rise in the coming years. Previous research showed that there is widespread scope for what is known as ‘behaviour change’ to significantly impact on bills, as well as help the UK meet its commitment to reduce emissions by 80% by 2050.

Dr Alan Whitehead, MP for Southampton Test and chair of the Labour Party’s Energy and Climate Change Group, said:

“People are rightly concerned about rising energy bills and the impact of fuel poverty. But it’s worth remembering that fuel costs and the need to reduce emissions are two sides of the same coin. It is important that we understand people’s motivations for changing their energy behaviour so we can make sure that policy makers are communicating to them in the most effective way possible. Hastoe being part of this second National Energy Study is  a great way to bridge this gap, so we can tailor polices that have the most impact in helping to reduce both bills and emissions”

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