Case Study 1:
UK Household Electricity Use Study

UK Household Electricity Use Study

Our company successfully inaugurated a substantial research programme on the monitoring of electrical power
demand and energy consumption patterns in 251 consumer households in England. Major findings:

  • Minimum average annual standby consumption in households is 47 watts
  • Single-occupied homes (representing 29% of British households) use a similar amount of energy for cooking and clothes washing as do families
  • Most people watch 6 hours of television per day
  • Households generally wash clothes 5.5 times every week
  • Owners of dishwashers use double the amount of electricity to keep their dishes clean than they do for keeping their clothes clean

The Final Report has been issued and is available via the links below. The study produced unique data for improving the reliability of projection modelling of future energy consumption for domestic consumption, enabling UK government departments to identify the product usage characteristics of peak load demand, and demonstrably linking consumption with demographic and behavioural factors and so offer new potential for policy interventions.

A major difference about this study compared to studies previously undertaken in other countries was that behavioural information was collected at the same time as the energy consumption of every energy-using product in the household. Not only did we measure how much energy the clothes washer was using, but also what wash programme the user had selected and whether the washer had been filled or only partly filled with items to be washed. Thus, the research data enabled the comparison of energy consumption with user habits and with demographics such as household size and social grade.

The project was funded by UK Government Departments, DEFRA and DECC, and the Energy Saving Trust and was conducted in collaboration with Ipsos MORI, Enertech and Intertek.

Full report:
Executive summary: