UK workers exhibit split personalities when it comes to energy management

Dr_Jekyll_and_Mr_HydeA new survey has highlighted the disparity between how energy (and hence money) conscious British people are in their domestic and working lives. According to research carried out by Rexel UK we exhibit a ‘split personality’ when it comes to the ways in which we use energy. Just under half (48 percent) of those surveyed describe themselves as energy conscious at home, whereas only a fifth (20 percent) would say the same about themselves in the workplace. Over a third (70 percent) say that they are concerned about wasting energy at home, whilst only two-fifths (43 percent) worry about wasting energy at work. In addition people are actively choosing to charge electronic devices at work in preference to home and, while nearly all turn the lights off at home (93 percent), only 60 percent do so in the office.

People are also more likely to open a window in the office when they are too warm without turning down the heating (47 percent), compared to just a third who claim to do the same in their own homes, raising issues about the motivations of people in reducing energy consumption according to the survey’s authors.

Brian Smithers, strategic development director, for Rexel Northern European Zone, said: “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 behaviour 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.

He continues: “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.”