Saving energy has become the second most frequent source of conversation after holidays, according to research.
As cost-of-living continues to put energy use high on the agenda for households, research of 2,000 bill payers, found they share energy saving tips with family and friends (61 percent) nearly as much as they discuss their travel plans (63 percent).
The study found two-thirds (67 percent) talk about energy consumption tips on a weekly basis, with 21 percent raising the topic with colleagues.
While a fifth (18 percent) will converse with friends about energy saving tactics, and 47 percent to family.
The study was commissioned by Smart Energy GB, which has launched its Demand Flexibility Service, to help people lessen their energy usage at certain times of the day.
It also partnered with consumer expert, Vicky Parry, at money advice service, MoneyMagpie, to help households ‘get scheme smart’ in a bid to help them save.
Vicky said: “Since the start of this year, when the latest energy price cap increase came into effect, we’ve seen searches for ‘energy saving schemes’ double on our website, along with ‘free energy tips’ and ‘saving money and energy’.
“It’s clear that energy saving is staying firmly at the top of agendas and while there are many great schemes available, it’s vital that people feel equipped with the knowledge to help them navigate the energy market, stay aware of what’s out there for them and most importantly, how they can access it.
“If you’re a bill payer, then accessing energy reward schemes is easy, and with a smart meter, you can not only monitor your usage and cost in near-real time, but also speak to your supplier about the types of reward schemes available for flexing your energy usage.”
The research revealed 25 percent are more confident in their knowledge of energy tariffs, schemes and deals and how to save on household bills now compared to five years’ ago.
What’s more, 30 percent feel more empowered when it comes to their household energy management and identifying ways to save, and those who use a smart meter believe they have saved £120 in the last six months by using the smart meter’s in-home display to monitor energy use more closely or by taking advantage of reward schemes.
However, 29 percent still lack confidence to take control of their household bills, with 25 percent of these finding the language used around energy management difficult to understand.
The OnePoll study also discovered that although 38 percent feel more positive about energy saving in 2024, exactly three in 10 still struggle to navigate the energy landscape. With 20 percent finding it hard to understand what tariffs and reward schemes are available to them.
It also found 30 percent would like more help in understanding the energy market and terminology used.
Finance expert, consumer champion and broadcaster, Steph McGovern, said: “Throughout my career I’ve been reporting on financial news, with a view to helping consumers navigate everything from getting a pay rise to cutting down everyday bills. There’s never been a better time to take control of your finances, thanks to the different initiatives and innovative schemes out there.
“Energy bills are one of the biggest pressures on households so I’m delighted to be part of helping people demystify energy and take control of their bills. Across the year I’ll be helping to make it easier to understand the energy market and get the best deals possible – starting with the schemes you can make use of right now with the help of a smart meter.”
It emerged 23 percent have heard of, but don’t know, what the ‘Demand Flexibility Service’ is – a scheme that allows you to earn rewards for shifting electricity usage outside of peak demand hours if you have a smart meter.
While 30 percent are unaware if their supplier offers it, a further 25 percent have heard of it, but don’t know how to access it, and 28 percent have never come across it at all.
Knowing the most efficient times to use energy, to help them adapt their usage and save money in the long run would make 47 percent more confident when it comes to saving on energy bills, and 36 percent said being able to monitor energy use in real-time would help them understand more about controlling how much they use.
Victoria Bacon, director at Smart Energy GB, said: “It’s great to see so many people actively using their smart meter to be more energy efficient, but it’s also important to know they unlock benefits above and beyond being able to monitor what you use at home.
“If you have a smart meter installed you are able to take advantage of energy reward schemes that reward you for using energy at different times of the day. Some people are missing out because they’re unsure of what’s available, and don’t know how to access reward schemes.
“We’re teaming up with MoneyMagpie to equip households with the information they need to better understand schemes and tariffs, along with actionable tips to reduce energy use and help with their bills.”