EDF commits £185 million to energy efficiency spend as online searches for ‘how to keep house warm’ spike by 129%

  • Analysis of online search data reveals an 129% increase in searches for ‘how to keep house warm’ since last since last year1
  • Despite a reduction in the energy price cap, 99% of Brits are as concerned or more concerned about their energy bills this winter compared to last
  • More than two thirds of households (68%) have thought more about ways to make their home more energy efficient but cost remains the biggest barrier (19%)
  • EDF is helping customers save cash and carbon, increasing its 2023 ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme spend by £103m to increase energy efficiency for households, bringing down bills permanently and improving homes’ EPC ratings2

New research3 reveals that over half (56%) of Brits are more concerned about paying their energy bills this winter compared to last – with 43% as concerned.

Despite a reduction in the energy price cap this quarter, people are increasingly turning to the internet to find ways to manage their energy bills. Analysis of online UK data1, conducted by EDF, reveals searches for ‘how to keep house warm’ have risen by 129% in the past year alone, with‘energy saving tips’ increasing by 53% in the same time period.

To help households, EDF has increased its investment to improve energy efficiency for households through support from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Great British Insulation Schemes (GBIS) by £103m in 2023. Under the scheme rules suppliers are able to invest in ECO at any point until March 2026, but rather than wait, EDF is bringing forward this investment to make sure households in need can benefit from warmer homes and lower bills as soon as possible. This will bring its total committed spend on ECO and GBIS in 2023 up to £185m, benefitting 14,000 households, giving the average customer an annual bill saving of between £700 and £800 per year.

With energy bills almost double what they were before the energy crisis, the research also revealed that 37% of Brits have turned to Google to help them combat rising energy bills in the past 12 months. The analysis of online UK data revealed many are searching online for specific energy efficient measures they can do to save money in the home. Some of the most popular searches over the past 12 months (since September 2022) include:

  • ‘Cling film over windows’ – 321% increase in searches
  • ‘Closing curtains to keep heat in’ – 300% increase in searches
  • ‘Drying clothes on radiator’ – 181% increase in searches

Other notable searches include: ‘stopping draughts’, ‘painting radiators black’, ‘washing clothes at night’, ‘using carpet as insulation’, ‘best time of day to shower’ and ‘heating room with oven’.

Over the last year, over a third (36%) of households have invested in energy efficiency methods, with the most popular method being installing underfloor insulation (57%), followed by radiator panels (53%). 

Although, whilst 68% of people are thinking of more ways to improve their home energy efficiency, acting on the most effective measures might be challenging. Research found that one of the main reasons energy efficiency improvements were not made was because ‘it is too expensive to install’ them (19%).

Other popular, more cost-effective ways people have improved their home’s energy efficiency included draught proofing around windows and door frames (49%), putting draught excluders in front of doors (47%) and placing rugs in rooms with hard flooring (45%).

With over three quarters (77%) of households believing more needs to be done to support vulnerable customers and a fifth (20%) concerned about falling into arrears on their energy bills, EDF’s investment will offer eligible customers living in a home with a low EPC rating a package of free energy-saving measures and heating improvements to help bring down bills permanently and improve their homes EPC rating.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF commented: “It’s clear that as the colder weather approaches, people are concerned about keeping their homes warm in a cost-effective way. Tackling the energy efficiency of people’s homes is the number one way we can help to reduce bills and we’re not choosing to stand still or wait. We’re spending an extra £103m on the ECO and Great British Insulation Schemes this year which will deliver savings to thousands of vulnerable customers.”

The ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme includes measures such as home insulation, boiler upgrades, upgrading existing electric heating systems to a more energy-efficient solution or adding a zero carbon heating system like an air source heat pump, all of which will help households save both cash and carbon. Since April 2022, EDF has delivered 52,000 energy efficiency measures saving customers £10 million on their bills each year, on average saving 24,298 tCO2 per year, the equivalent yearly emissions of over 6,000 cars.

Commaret continues: “Choosing to bring forward the funding in the ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme to this year, means our customers will benefit from lower bills and warmer homes sooner rather than later. And to make this as easy as possible, our new Home Efficiency Hub will tell customers what measures will help them save the most cash and carbon and which grants might be available.”

Find out more about ECO4 and see if you’re eligible to apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme.

Additionally, EDF’s is launching a new Home Efficiency Hub tool where customers can create a free home energy efficiency improvement plan and find an installer to turn their plans into a reality. The plan will also set out any grants or funding that may be available, saving customers time and helping them reduce their carbon emissions in the journey to Net Zero.

For further support on ways to get ready for winter and reduce energy consumption in the home, there is advice and energy-saving tips available on the government’s ‘It All Adds Up’ website

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