Demand for domestic energy falls in the UK

Latest statistics published by DECC have revealed that UK homes are now using one fifth less energy than in 2004 and the overall demand for domestic energy has fallen by 11 per cent, despite the number of households rising by 6 per cent in the same period.

A number of changing factors over the previous ten years are likely to have contributed to the decreasing demand of energy in the UK, in particular the rise of energy-efficient technologies and innovations.

The growing number of more efficient A-rated appliances, such as fridges and ovens, replacing old, unrated models means that the nation's appliances are becoming more efficient. Lighting efficiency has also improved particularly rapidly over the past decade due to EU rules that have banned inefficient incandescent bulbs, forcing a shift to compact fluorescents.The amount of energy used by home lighting fell by 22 per cent between 2000 and 2012, according to Oxford University energy expert Dr Brenda Boardman.

70 per cent of homes in 2012 scored a 'D' or above on energy efficient ratings, compared to just 45 per cent in 2008. These improvements are mainly down to a combination of better insulation, more double glazing and newer boilers. For example, the proportion of lofts with recommended 125 millimetres of insulation increased by 60 per cent in the five years to 2013.

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This article has been adapted from a blog published by Simon Evans in The Carbon Brief.