THE MISSING PIECE IN CLIMATE CONVERSATIONS
We teamed up with Chris Packham to raise awareness of how important energy efficiency is in the climate change conversation – and to encourage everyone to take action by getting a smart meter.
Why is energy efficiency so important?
Action on climate change has never been more prominent in our minds. As a nation, we are taking positive steps towards a greener, cleaner Britain, such as reducing our dependency on single-use plastic and aiming to use more renewable energy.
But, despite our efforts, we are still not on track to meet our ambitious goal of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050 to tackle the climate crisis.
Yet, according to research from the University of Salford and The Energy Saving Trust, we could achieve 11% of our carbon target if every UK household took energy efficiency measures now.
Despite the huge positive impact that energy efficiency can make, it is missing from the climate change conversation. In fact, less than 3% of all media and social media conversations on climate change over the past two years have mentioned energy efficiency at all.
It's time to talk about energy efficiency - but talking alone is not enough. This is about more than turning off our lights or washing our clothes on a cooler setting. We also need to update our outdated analogue energy infrastructure to a smart energy system, for which the information smart meters collect is vital.
Smart meters feed back information to suppliers, which allows energy companies to plan how much energy to produce and when, and to make use of renewable energy sources more effectively. This improves energy efficiency by helping to reduce the amount of energy that goes to waste, and reduces our carbon footprint by lessening our reliance on harmful fossil fuels. As more people get smart meters our smart energy system will grow, which will allow us to continue improving our energy efficiency.
As well as being vital for the smart energy system, smart meters are having a positive impact on energy efficiency in the home - nearly three quarters say they’re doing more to save energy since getting one.1
Our Missing Piece campaign
We worked with environmentalist and TV presenter Chris Packham to highlight the importance of energy efficiency. Let him explain…
As well as working with Chris Packham, we did a few more things to really get people talking about energy efficiency, such as organising an interactive takeover of one of London’s iconic newsstands.
As people went to buy their morning newspaper, the seller at the newsstand ripped pages out of it before handing it over. Bemused members of the public were then told how the now-incomplete newspapers represented the missing piece – energy efficiency – in conversations about climate change.
We also worked with national newspaper Metro, to produce a four-page cover wrap for the day of launch – the first of its kind. This featured redacted text to emphasise the missing piece in the climate change debate.
The result was eye-catching, engaging and fitted the narrative perfectly.
How to be more energy efficient at home
A huge 95% of you care about looking the environment and are keen to do more. That’s why we’ve gathered five top tips to help you improve your efficiency with energy use at home.
1) Request a smart meter
Smart meters make it easier for us to identify situations where we're using a lot of energy and might want to make changes to reduce it. The near real-time energy readings shown on your IHD could be used to help reduce energy usage as you discover which appliances are using the most energy. You may see a difference in energy consumption between different lightbulbs, for example.
Not only that, but you’ll be impacting energy efficiency at a much greater level. With the help of smart meters our current energy infrastructure could be transformed into a smart energy system – and make us smarter, cleaner and greener as a country.
2) Take some energy-free time
As a nation, we spend a lot of our spare time doing things that require energy usage, such as watching TV, playing video games, and using various gadgets around the home. But there are other activities you can do without using any energy, from going for a walk and learning more about your local surroundings, to playing a board game.
3) Stop using standby
If you’re no longer using an appliance, switch it off rather than leaving it on standby. If your laptop or television is on standby then it’s still using energy which goes to waste. According to The Energy Saving Trust, switching your appliances off standby mode can save around £30 a year!
4) Cook responsibly
Did you know, one of the more energy-efficient ways to cook is microwaving? In fact, it only costs around £3 per year to use your microwave for 10 minutes per day.
5) Shorten your showers
Shortening your shower by 1 minute every day will save you around £8 on energy per year, so do your best to reduce any wasteful shower time.
Smart meters have many benefits for Great Britain. Find out what they are:
1Sourced from Populus, Smart energy outlook March 2019, smartenergyGB.org