One Third of Brits Living Below 'Green Line'

Research released today from communications company O2 has revealed that one in three Britons are potentially living beneath a ‘Green Line’, unable to afford energy efficiency measures for their home. This is despite being faced with an imminent energy crunch.

The research of 2,099 respondents, released in conjunction with the O2 Energy Saver Fund found that nearly ninety per cent of Britons feel their homes are not very energy efficient whilst 75 per cent of them are concerned about their home’s energy efficiency.

Although many British families face a 25 per cent increase in their gas and electricity bills, 32 per cent of those surveyed said they could not afford measures to increase energy efficiency. In addition, 45 per cent of lower-income respondents felt they would only consider energy efficient measures if they were more affordable and one in ten felt it was something only higher earners can afford.

Despite 85 per cent of Britons believing their homes to be ‘not very’ to ‘somewhat’ energy efficient, when asked what they would spend a spare £500 on, only seven per cent of respondents when prompted said they would invest the sum in energy efficient measures for their home. 31 per cent said they would spend it on a holiday and 42 per cent would prefer to save the amount.

The research suggested four key themes; a shift in priorities toward short-term preservation1, a knowledge gap about energy efficient measures2, a perception that these measures are beyond their means3 and the environmental benefits of energy efficiency4.

Robert McKinnon of The Energy Saving Trust, commenting on the research said that now is the perfect time to take action on home energy efficiency.

“We encourage all British families to incorporate energy efficient measures now as the ideal way to beat rising costs. Through initiatives like the O2 Energy Saver Fund and small changes around the home, families can save an average of £250 off their annual energy bills”.

Helen Wright, Head of Environment at O2 UK said the O2 Energy Saver Fund directly targets the British families and communities beneath the ‘Green Line’, helping them decrease their energy bills. The fund has raised £500,000 by encouraging O2 customers to retain their handset through the highly successful ‘simplicity’ tariff.

“The O2 Energy Saver Fund is designed to ease the pressure on fuel-poor households throughout the UK by providing energy efficiency home makeovers. These makeovers can include the installation of measures such as wall cavity and loft insulation. These measures can save families an average of £250 off their gas and electricity bills annually,” Wright said.

“Considering that the latest wholesaler gas and electricity price increases could add up to £250 to British households’ annual energy bills, the O2 Energy Saver Fund is one way of easing this pressure”.

McKinnon said, “Beyond higher end measures such as cavity wall and loft insulation there are other more affordable ways British households can make savings. These include installing energy saving light bulbs and draught seals.”

Eligible households or communities can apply for O2 home energy makeovers by visiting the following address – www.est.org.uk/o2energysaver or by calling 0800 055 6427.