UK 'split personality' energy usage behaviour between work and home

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The results of a survey from OnePoll and Rexel reveals that 48 per cent of the British public would describe themselves as energy conscious at home, whereas only 20 per cent would say the same about their behavior in the workplace, according to realbusiness.co.uk

This apparent “split personality” around energy usage is again highlighted by the differences in their concern for energy wastage. Over 70 per cent claim that they are concerned about wasting energy at home, whilst only 43 per cent worry about wastage at work.

These findings found that the majority of employees actively charge their personal devices at work instead of using energy at home, with 32 per cent admitting to daily charging sessions and 36 per cent charging multiple devices.

Looking at more common energy drains, such as lighting and heating, the survey found that almost 93 per cent claim they turn off the lights when leaving an empty room at home. Worryingly for businesses, the research found that only 60 per cent flick the switch at work.

During the winter months, it is understandable that rising heating bills are often a major concern for UK bill payers, however, a third prefer to open a window at home when they are too hot rather than turn the heating down. In line with the rest of the research the same applied to 47 per cent in the workplace, again showing the inconsistency in behaviour toward energy usage.

Brian Smithers, strategic development director, for Rexel Northern European Zone, commented on the findings: “The continued rise in household energy bills in the UK and the heated global energy security debate has increased consumer concerns and consciousness of their energy consumption. Despite this heightened awareness there is a noticeable ‘split personality’ in energy usage behaviour. Our research shows that people are wasting energy and in some cases actively adapting their energy behavior to avoid the rising costs of energy at home.

What’s worrying about this apparent trend is that the average office worker spends at least 40 hours a week at work, so a huge percentage of the country’s energy consumption is taking place in the nation’s offices. To reach the UK’s carbon reduction target of 80 per cent by 2050, long-term and mass behavioural change is required not just in the home but across all aspects of people’s lives. There are huge opportunities for businesses to reduce energy bills by educating their employees, putting in place best practices and installing smart energy monitoring devices to help reach these targets, but also ultimately to save themselves money.”