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Household energy consumption down by a quarter between 2005 and 2011

Research suggests a higher public awareness of energy issues is driving the change

A new report issued by the government has revealed that the average household energy consumption in England and Wales decreased by 24.7% between 2005 and 2011.

During this period, energy consumption was highest in the East Midlands, and regional differences between consumers who use the most and least energy dropped by 35%.

Lower usage driven by multiple factors

The report pinpoints a number of reasons for the decrease in energy consumption. These include the impact of European Union directives which have led to improved property insulation and energy efficiency.

Other possible reasons for the fall in consumption are the introduction of energy ratings for households and an increase in awareness regarding issues tied to energy efficiency and environmental sustainability.

Gas consumption higher than electric

The report also highlighted that, over this six-year period, the average household used more gas than electricity. Consumption figures again varied depending on the region.

The regions which consumed the most energy were also those with the highest Economy 7 electricity consumption.

Energy bills continue to rise

These figures are in stark contrast with energy bill prices, which have risen by an average of 151% between 2004 and 2012, from £522 to £1309. These increases are another likely reason for a drop in energy consumption.

A survey carried out in January by the Energy Bill Revolution revealed that 23% of people are forced to decide between turning on their central heating and purchasing food.

Prices are expected to rise again before winter, with npower the latest of the big six energy suppliers to refuse to rule out a possible increase.

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