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Energy controls gap costs UK consumers over £3.2 billion

Poor control of domestic heating and hot water is costing UK consumers over £3.2 billion per year – or £122 for the average home.

The figures come from UK time switch maker Sangamo, based on the latest government statistics.

Managing director Mark Robinson commented: “The home energy controls gap exists because many homes lack one or more of the three basics - a heating programmer, room thermostats or thermostatic radiator valves.

“It’s also because consumers need better educating on how to save more by setting their controls properly.”

UK householders spent over £31.4 billion on gas and electricity in 2010, with an estimated 83 per cent – or £26.1 billion – going on heating and hot water.

The company estimates conservatively that consumers could slash their heat and hot water bills on average by an eighth by using the right controls - a step which for many could make the biggest energy saving.

The potential £122 average annual saving from better home energy controls is more than the £100 a year the department of energy and climate change estimates households without loft and cavity wall insulation are wasting.

It also dwarfs the £55 a year that the Energy Savings Trust says leaky homes could save through full draft proofing.

With gas costing the average home £719 per year and electricity £453, the typical annual combined energy bill in 2011 was £1172, or nearly £98 per month.

Key to figures

  • The figure of £31.4 billion for UK domestic gas and electricity sales in 2010 is based on quarterly energy prices (QEP), table 2.6.1, published by the department of energy and climate control (DECC). Table last updated in June 2011.
  • The figure of 83% per cent of domestic energy use going on heating (66%) and hot water (17%) is based on Great Britain’s housing energy fact file, published by DECC, 2011.
  • According to DECC press notice 11/049, June 2011, around half of UK homes were not properly insulated and each of those could each save at least £100 per year. Savings of £122 year are estimated potential average reductions to the average combined domestic gas and electricity bill by using the right controls. They do not take into account the cost of purchasing and installing controls products where necessary.
  • Average projected energy savings of £55 per home per year from full draught proofing are taken from the Energy Savings Trust website
  • Average annual UK domestic gas and electricity consumption prices for 2011 of £719 and £453 respectively are based on QEP tables 2.3.1 and 2.2.1, published by DECC in March 2012.