Energy epidemic: UK’s office energy sins revealed

New research by UK Power has revealed that a quarter of Brits regularly leave lights on in empty office rooms, as the biggest energy sins are revealed.

Busy workers and bad habits are pushing up business energy bills, according to new research by energy switching expert UK Power.

Its poll of 1,000 UK residents reveals the daily energy sins that could be costing employers thousands of pounds in wasted energy every year. Although the biggest sins are most commonly associated with household energy use – such as leaving the TV on standby and leaving the radio on when nobody is listening – many are also common in the workplace.

A third (33 per cent) admitted to leaving kitchen appliances plugged in when not in use, while slightly fewer (30 per cent) confessed to leaving fully-charged laptops wired up. More than a quarters (26 per cent) confessed to leaving the light on in empty rooms.

When it comes to the all-important office tea break, one-in-six (15 per cent) admit to re-boiling the kettle after it has already boiled.

The UK’s top ten daily energy wasting sins

  1. Leaving the TV on standby overnight (41 per cent)
  2. Leaving kitchen appliances plugged in when not in use (33 per cent)
  3. Leaving a laptop plugged in when fully charged (30 per cent)
  4. Leaving a light on in an empty room (26 per cent)
  5. Leaving the TV on when nobody is watching (25 per cent)
  6. Leaving a phone plugged in when fully charged (24 per cent)
  7. Leaving a laptop on standby (22 per cent)
  8. Re-boiling after forgetting it has just been boiled (15 per cent)
  9. Falling asleep with the TV on (11 per cent)
  10. Leaving the radio on when nobody is listening (ten per cent)

To put the costs into perspective, if a business’s 100 employees each microwaved their lunch every day in 2017 (252 working days), the energy cost would total £3,024.

Nick Heath, head of insight at UK Power, says, ‘The introduction of smart meters is allowing people around the country to get more familiar with the energy ‘cost’ of their activities. But it’s very interesting to see that there’s still a lack of clarity around the most and least expensive items to run, as well as the numerous bad habits people continue to have inside and outside of their homes.

‘We hope our research will make people think twice about their energy habits, and of the positive impacts very small changes can have on their household and business bills.’

Further reading on energy

Owen Gough, SmallBusiness UK

Owen Gough

Owen was a reporter for Bonhill Group plc writing across the and titles before moving on to be a Digital Technology reporter for the

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