Saturday, August 6, 2022

Brits could be informed of neighbors’ energy use to help with bills

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Brits could be told if they use more energy than their neighbors to help people cut their household bills, government advisers have suggested.

Households could receive letters informing them of how their energy use compares to that of people around them under the proposed plans.

According to Lis Costa of the Behavioral Insights team, global studies have shown that sending out energy consumption comparison letters reduces household consumption by around two percent.

Experts at analytics firm Cornwall Insight have predicted that the energy bill of a typical household will be well over £3,000 a year over the next 15 months, with the average bill expected to be £3,649 in the summer of 2023.

Mrs Costa tells The Telegraph that the government is “considering the full scope of its policy toolbox” to reduce household demand for energy.

Regarding the proposed plans to help people compare their energy use, Ms Costa said: “We have seen in many cultural contexts that this type of feedback on social norms reduces energy use.”

She added: “Subsidies are badly needed this year. There are a lot of people who are going to really struggle this winter.” She also suggested that reducing energy use would support Britain’s climate targets.

“Many, many people across the UK are very concerned about climate change and want to be able to do more to contribute to the net zero targets.

“And household energy use is clearly one of the most important areas where people can reduce their emissions and their lives.

“And there are some simple tools they can use to do that in a way that’s still comfortable for them to live in their homes.”

dr Craig Lowrey, Principal Adviser at Cornwall Insight said: “We have less than a month before the new price cap is announced and given wholesale market trends and concerns about Russian supply unfortunately the only change to the forecast is likely to be up be.

“While the increase in October and January forecasts is a matter of urgency, it’s not just the magnitude — but the duration — of the increases that make these new forecasts so devastating.”

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