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Weekend of football sees households turn to tech to indulge in the back-to-back matches or completely escape

  • Football fans used, on average, two devices whilst watching the match
  • Nearly half said they relied on technology more than ever to recreate the football atmosphere
  • Almost two in 10 (17%) of fans used video calls to become sofa pundits during the matches\Non-fans found alternative ways to be entertained over the weekend - with 22% watching TV in another room
  • 20% are worried about increased energy usage over the weekend
  • Lockdown and spending more time at home has meant household energy consumption has increased, which could mean higher energy bills
  • A smart meter helps manage your energy use - contact your energy supplier to request a smart meter

23 June 2020: With record viewing figures over the weekend, it's clear that fans are loving the return of football and have been watching avidly on TVs across the country.

Research commissioned by Smart Energy GB surveyed 2,000 adults in the UK and revealed that over half  had planned to watch matches from Friday to Sunday, with 37 per cent of Brits soaking up as much of the coverage as possible by watching both the pre-and post-match commentary in addition to the matches.

But one in five respondents admitted they were worried about their increased energy usage over the weekend as a result. Lockdown and spending more time at home has meant household energy consumption has increased, which could mean increased energy bills. One of the simplest ways to monitor energy use is to get a smart meter installed, as the in-home display shows exactly how much energy is being used. Those with a smart prepay tariff can also easily see how much credit remains and can top up remotely - so those glued to the match won't even need to leave the sofa.

With pubs and stadiums still closed to the public, free-to-view options meant that even more could tune in at home, including the weekend's biggest game, Everton versus Liverpool, plus the BBC showing its first Premier League game since its inception in 1992.

And without being able to watch with friends as they usually would, almost half (46%) of fans said that they relied on technology more than usual to recreate a good football viewing atmosphere. The research also revealed:

  • The average viewer used two devices when watching the matches
  • Almost half (45%) watched at home on a wide screen TV
  • One in six fans used video calls to debate the game as it took place - discussing referee decisions and goals, with a fifth (22%) also dialling in for a post-match analysis
  • Almost a third (29%) kept in touch with fellow fans over the phone
  • A quarter also turned the kettle on to make tea during each match
  • One in ten switched on the blender to make a Premier League inspired cocktail

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: "The Premier League is finally back and although fans are unable to enter stadiums, every game is available to view on television, which brings about a greater reliance on TV, laptops and smart devices as people try to recreate that matchday atmosphere you get nowhere else but on the terraces.

"Increased energy use during the COVID crisis has meant an increase in bills for many households, but there is a simple way to stay in control and that is by getting a smart meter installed."

The study also found a third of those polled were incredibly excited to see the return of the Premier League - with a further one in six excited even though they're not usually avid football fans. Almost a fifth watched together as a family - as they've got used to doing things together during lockdown.

And 31 per cent have been so happy about the return of the sport, they didn't care about the games being played in empty stadiums.

Those in the capital seemed to miss the football the most, with 63 per cent saying they have watched football since it was restarted - although many Arsenal fans may wish they hadn't. Aside for their hunger for football, 43 per cent turned on the oven to cook up delicious treats to enjoy throughout the game such as pizza, nachos or burgers.

Over the last four months, football fan and non-fan households may have shared the TV remote, but this weekend saw an end to that, as those who didn't want to have a beautiful game marathon found other ways to entertain themselves, increasing household energy use further. Almost a quarter (23%) of non-fans switched on their second TV, whilst 16% streamed Netflix on a laptop. Others kept occupied with gaming consoles, DIY, baking and mowing the lawn.

Cheesewright added: "In a time where people are using more energy at home than usual, even when watching the football, it's important to keep an eye on your consumption. Not only do smart meters allow you to see your energy use in near real time so you can manage it more easily, they are helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and integrate more renewable power into our electricity system. So, while you're cheering on your beloved team to victory, and messaging your friends about that last-minute overhead kick equaliser, your smart meter will make sure your energy usage lasts way beyond the final whistle."

Five ways football fans can help manage their energy consumption:

  1. Cook for everyone at once - if you have a busy household, make sure you're catering for everyone, even those watching something else in another room. Plus, it's more sociable.
  2. Get the barbecue out - If the weather's good, it saves on using the oven and can be a great way of making more of an event of the football - even if it's just for the two of you in your household.
  3. Ask your energy supplier for a smart meter - They are the best way to monitor the energy you are consuming via a handy in-home display, which shows you how much you are spending in near real time. And if you're on a prepay tariff, you can top up during half-time without leaving the sofa.
  4. If you're sticking the kettle on after the match, make sure you only boil the amount of water you need, rather than filling it up to the max.
  5. When you're finished with the TV - win or lose - remember not to leave it on standby and switch your electronics off at the wall when you're not using them.


Notes to editors:

About smart meters and the rollout
Britain is committed to a cleaner future - one with zero carbon, zero emissions and reduced pollution.

To make this happen, our nation requires a major upgrade to its energy infrastructure, specifically, it requires the creation of a smart energy system. Smart meters, which replace traditional, analogue meters, are the building blocks of a more reliable, clean and affordable energy infrastructure, allowing Great Britain to better manage energy use, transition to mass uptake of electric vehicles and to build a greener economy.

There are already 17.3 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales can now see their energy use in near real time, receive accurate bills and do their bit for the planet by requesting a smart meter, at no extra cost, from their energy supplier.

About Smart Energy GB
Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It's our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website

Smart Energy GB media contacts
For more information including interview requests, case studies of our smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team: [email protected]