22nd May 2017 | Residential Energy

Over the last ten years, UK energy consumption decreased by 14% on both actual and temperature corrected basis. This is despite the population of the UK growing by over ten million people (18.7%) since 1964. Half of this growth is since 2001.

A November 2016 report by the UK Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, shows that energy consumption in the UK is, on average, no higher than it was in the 1970s. Consumption peaked at 2001 at 236,856 thousand tonnes of oil, but fell by 18% in 2015.

Energy demand

Transportation accounted for the largest proportion of final consumption in 2015 at 40%. This is not a surprise as vehicle registrations have been growing for the past five years. Second highest consumption came from the domestic sector (29%), followed by industry (17%) and the service sector (14%).

UK total greenhouse gas emissions are down 38% from 1990 levels.

The decade-long fall in UK energy consumption can, in part, be attributed to measures by the government, utility companies and consumer side agencies to help conserve energy and improve efficiency, according to senior analyst at NRG Expert, Edgar van der Meer.

“Looking back to the ‘70s and ‘80s, when efficiency measures were not as high, the increase in energy was almost proportional to any growth. However, now what we are seeing is a change in the way we consume energy. Incandescent light bulbs, for example, are big wasters of energy and have been swapped for LEDs,” says van der Meer.

“We may not think of it as a big component but everybody uses artificial lighting, so the accumulative effect has helped with consumption on a larger scale.”

According to Which?, replacing just one 60W incandescent lightbulb with an LED can save almost £7.50 per bulb per year. The old-fashioned incandescent bulb was officially phased out in the EU in 2009.

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