This reflects the fact that petrol costs are advertised constantly, yet energy companies refuse to offer similar transparency – unheard of for the majority of daily commodities.
The cost of a litre of petrol is known by 85% of people, yet the confusing nature of energy tariffs means less than 8% of respondents can identify the average annual bill for heating a three bedroom home when given multiple choice answers, with nearly a third overestimating the cost by £300. A huge four fifths of people are unaware that a kWh of energy on a basic tariff costs 8p.
The lack of transparency prevents people from being able to identify energy savings and cost savings on their utility bills. In the UK it is estimated that we waste £165 million by leaving the lights on at home, yet only 22% of people are aware of this and most believe the amount wasted is less than £80 million.
Most people (70%) do not know how much it costs to run an Aga (£12.58 per week*) and less than 30% of people were aware of the average monthly cost of running a television (£4.90 per month).
Half of respondents (51%) believe that it is more energy efficient to leave the heating on low when they are out rather than turning it off and setting the timer to heat the house an hour before they return, which is considerably more energy efficient.
Jonathan Haward, Chairman of the County Homesearch company comments:
“Energy tariffs are a minefield and this needs to be rectified, replacing confusion with transparency in all cases. Bills should include the price of energy – I recently phoned one particular energy company and they could not even tell me the cost of a unit of energy! This would be unheard of for the majority of daily commodities, where prices are readily available.
“Energy companies should be making their rates crystal clear for the sake of customers’ pockets, and for the environment. We are trying to become a more eco-friendly country but energy saving technologies such as solar panels will only become popular and have an impact if people understand how much money and energy they allow them to save.”
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