According to a government backed study carried out by UK Housing Energy Fact File, the average home is now kept at close to 17C during winter. This figure is up 5 degrees from the average temperature in the 1970s.
The report states: “Most families in 1970 lived in homes that would be cold by modern standards in winter – as cool as 12C on average. There may have been ice on the insides of the windows, and nearly everyone accepted the need to wear thick clothes at home in winter.”
The report added that the main reason for this is the widespread availability of central heating systems.
Many factors cloud people’s understanding of energy consumption
According to the researchers behind the study: “Paying by direct debit, fluctuating energy prices, variations in how cold the winter is, and changing household circumstances – all of these appear to cloud people’s understanding of how much energy they use.”
Research carried out by a team of Dutch scientists last week determined that there was a link between staying slim and living at lower temperatures.
One in 20 homes sweats it out at 30C
A survey run by emergency repair firm HomeServe, found an even higher average temperature and stated that the average home is kept at an average temperature of 23C. A figure which is in line with temperatures during a warm summer day.
According to the survey, one third of respondents turned the heating up to 25C and one in 20 lounged in a tropical 30C temperature.
Energy use per household has diminished
Despite the increasing popularity of devices and appliances which consume high levels of electricity, energy use per household has actually fallen by 18% in the past 40 years.
This figure is, however, misleading and is due to a smaller number of people living in each household on average. The increase in the number of households means overall home energy usage has gone up by 17%.