Heat wave sees energy usage shrink as temperatures soar

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First Utility collates real-time energy data to calculate the sunshine saving figure.

First Utility - there is a better way

First Utility - there is a better way

This July’s baking weather has led to a 10% decrease in electricity usage compared to the same month last year, according to independent energy company First Utility, which measured data across its savvy smart meter customers.

As the first company to offer smart meters to help put an end to estimated billing, First Utility was able to collate real-time energy data to calculate the sunshine saving figure.

The figures show that customers’ energy usage is approximately 10% less than this time last year – despite the record numbers of fans being bought across the country . It demonstrates that, despite the temptation to fit a fan in every room, savvy Brits are shunning the indoors and heading outside to make the most of the sunshine.

First Utility speculates that much of the reduction is as a result of less time being spent inside watching the TV or using other appliances, making fewer hot meals and drinks and taking cooler showers.

Ed Kamm, CMO of First Utility, said:

“This is welcome relief for consumers. In temperatures like this, there is always the danger that energy usage increases. To keep cool and comfortable, it can be quite tempting to use plug-in fans in several rooms – often leaving them on all night in bedrooms – and take a higher number of showers than usual; all of which use more energy. However, it looks like Britons are enjoying the balmy temperatures by getting out of the house to hit the beach or the park, which has bought energy consumption down.”


1. Fill up your fridge!

Having lots of food in your fridge – such as fresh fruit and vegetables, which we tend to eat more of in the hot weather - keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open, so your fridge doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.

2. Give your boiler a holiday

Your boiler is the biggest energy drain in your home. When you go on holiday, turn it off to avoid paying for heat you're not using. It could save you up to £25 a year – money which is surely better spent on a couple of beachside cocktails.

3. Switch to a summer shower to save £65 a year

The average household uses most of its hot water for bathing. By switching from a bath to a shower, you can reduce your water heating costs by nearly one-third.

4. Proper insulation could save you up to £145

Proper insulation doesn’t just keep your home warm in winter; it also keeps it cool in the summer. Adding proper insulation could save you up to £145 a year – a home improvement which will have paid for itself in savings in just two years.

5. Be smart with your energy

On certain tariffs First Utility provides complimentary Smart Meters. These enable you to get more accurate energy readings and also work out where you are using the most energy, so you can minimise your usage to make significant summer savings.
For more information on energy saving tips, visit the new First Utility website.

About First Utility

First Utility is the UK’s largest independent energy supplier. It supplies gas and electricity to over 180,000 residential and business customers throughout the UK. First Utility is pioneering the use of new technology within the energy sector to empower its customers to control their energy spend. It was also the first UK energy supplier to offer smart meters to all its customers in 2008. In 2012 it launched my:energy, an online analytics service which provides households and businesses with personalised information regarding their energy usage with the aim of giving customers cheap electricity and gas prices.


(1) 10% reduction figure based on average usage of First Utility smart meter customers in July 2013 versus July 2012. Data applies to electricity usage only.

(2) Heatwave leaves sweltering shoppers struggling with fan shortage.

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Caroline Wickson
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