Energy bill literacy warning for young Scots

Older generations are being urged to pass on their energy-saving tips as young people admit to being clueless about their bills.

Young Scottish bill payers claim they do not fully understand their energy bill or the terms that describe how much energy they use, according to the Energy Saving Trust public opinion tracker UK:Pulse.

Across the UK only seven per cent of under-35s say they fully understand their bill, with nearly 40 per cent unable to identify that electricity is measured in Kilowatt hours. By contrast, 18 per cent of over-55s say they fully understand their energy bill, while almost one in six older people (16 per cent) don’t know how energy is measured.

And while 84 per cent of Scottish households say they are willing to change their habits to save money on their energy bills – they currently waste more than £30 million a year on energy they don’t need to use.

The results come as the Energy Saving Trust publishes its list of 10 ‘quick wins’ to help people save energy and money in the home – and a digital quiz to put their knowledge about energy to the test.

Mike Thornton, director of Energy Saving Trust in Scotland, said: “Understanding your bill and how energy is used is vital to reducing overall domestic consumption. We have found a consistent difference in understanding of energy issues between age groups, one that is stronger than when we looked at this by gender or social background.

“By making small changes to their daily routine, Scottish households can save themselves millions of pounds and prevent thousands of tonnes of CO2 escaping into the atmosphere.

“Leaving appliances on standby costs an unnecessary £20m every year and overfilling the kettle costs £4.1m. Even washing clothes at 30 degrees instead of higher temperatures could save Scotland homes £5.9m per year.”

The survey also showed that under-35s in the UK are twice as likely to own or be interested in owning smart heating controls to save money, but nearly a third (30 per cent) of interested young people said they’d like to have one only because it would be ‘fun to try’.

Mike added: “While devices like smart heating controls are great tools for helping people reduce their energy use, there is no substitute for understanding how your activity in the home affects your bills. We need to encourage young people to save energy too.”

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