It’s official; I’m ‘GREAT’. That’s according to First Utility’s new energy savings plan which was launched last week. The idea is that you get a personal comparison with your neighbours in terms of energy comparison.
Now I’m wondering whether I should look down on my power-guzzling neighbours.
But I’m also wondering whether this is a good tactic for encouraging people to become more energy efficient?
The letter from First Utility said that our household used 10% less energy than ‘efficient similar homes’. I must admit, I was very surprised.
An energy inefficient house
Anyone who knows me is well-aware that my house is a big ‘work-in-progress’. Only around half of our windows are double-glazed (three of them were only done last week) and we have really poor loft insulation.
I have had someone around to advise me on getting insulation, and it’s a lot more complicated than I really want it to be. After all, with two children, a husband and a tendency to keep lots of useless things, I have a lot of clutter which I want up in the loft and not spread around the house – I need that storage space.
On the plus side I suppose we did spend a lot of money on a boiler five years ago and the children are really good at conserving energy with their reluctance to take baths and showers.
Keeping up the Joneses
Also, we do have a smart meter which, via an energy monitor, tells me when we are using lots of electricity. I originally turned off a few things that were usually left on standby, but after the first few weeks of my son shouting when my energy monitor was lighting up red when the kettle, the washing machine and the oven was on – we stopped taking a lot of notice of the monitor. After all, I still need to wash clothes, cook and drink tea.
First Utility do give tips on how to save energy. For example, replacing a bath with a five-minute shower while using ‘an efficient showerhead’ could save up to £65 a year – I’ll tell the kids.
So would a comparison with your neighbours make you use less energy? Would a ‘GREAT’ and two smiley faces on a letter make you take more notice of how you use your gas and electricity?
I think it’s a good start. I’m a little dubious that our house is better on the energy efficiency front than my neighbour’s – what are they plugging in!? Then again, the data likely isn’t from my actual next-door neighbour, as the company compares your energy use with other similar nearby homes that are also with First Utility. Still, I must admit that the letter made me feel quite good, maybe even ‘great’!