One night in the UK equates to the same carbon emissions as 15 round the world flights

  • Utility Design examine Brits’ wasted energy consumption, specifically related to home lighting
  • Leaving lights on was the #1 reason for couple arguments when at home (67%)
  • 21% of Brits admit to leaving lights on when going to work, 10% regularly do so when leaving a room, and 7% keep a light on when going to bed
  • Looking at locations, the worst culprits included Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham, London and Cardiff

Brits are wasting billions on unnecessary electricity consumption; new research has revealed.

The research, which was conducted by contemporary homeware and furniture retailer Utility Design, found that £4.4 BILLION is being spent by Brits each year in relation to unnecessary electricity use in relation to home lighting.

Leaving the lights on isn’t just having an impact on people’s wallets, but on their relationships too. It was found the top reasons for couple arguments when at home (67%), followed by not doing the dishes (65%) and leaving clothes or shoes on the floor (62%).

Following the above, and after previous research indicated that Britain was the tenth worst offender in the world when it comes to carbon dioxide emissions directly caused by power consumption, Utility Design further examined the habits of Brits when it came to wasteful electricity consumption – but specifically related to home lighting.

The research found that an estimated 4.7 million people admitted to leaving at least one light on when going to bed. Based on industry averages, over an average eight-hour period of shut eye, this equates to an estimated total of £3,619,000 being unnecessarily spent each night in the UK – creating a gargantuan 8,985,600 kg of nightly carbon dioxide emissions, the same as 15 round the world flights.

The research also found that 10% of us regularly leave our lights on when leaving a room. Based on industry averages, this could mean that there is £14,950,000 of energy being wasted each day across the UK, creating 37,440,000 kg of carbon dioxide emissions – the same as 62 flights around the world!

Leaving Lights on

Other findings suggested that:

  • 21% of Brits (~14 million people) admit to regularly leaving lights on when going to work – the carbon emissions from this in one average working day would be comparable to around 45 flights around the world (26,880,000 kg)
  • Men are more than twice as likely to leave lights on than women when going to work (31% compared to just 14%)
  • Millennials are the worst culprits for leaving the lights on (32% of those in the 18-24 group admit to leaving the lights on when not at home, compared to only 12% of those in the 55+ range)
  • Looking at locations, the worst culprits included Newcastle, Manchester, Nottingham, London and Cardiff

More information can be found here:

Richard Skelton, Brand & E-commerce Director at Utility Design, commented on the findings:

“Lighting can make or break an indoor or outdoor space, and here at Utility we recognise the importance of well designed, functional lighting. However, this study goes to show that it’s worth being conscious of our energy consumption and switching off unused lights, from both a personal finance (saving money) and an environmental point of view.

“It was interesting to find out that the bathroom is the main room where people accidently leave on the lights – perhaps we are slightly too bleary-eyed after our morning showers to make sure that we are being responsible with our energy consumption.