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Gas & Electricity

Over half of Irish consumers not actively monitoring energy usage

Robyn Hamilton

Robyn Hamilton

Content Marketing Specialist

New research from Pinergy has revealed that over half of Irish consumers are not actively monitoring their energy usage, despite a clear appetite to become more energy efficient and help the environment in doing so. The research also revealed a strong consensus among consumers to support some form of positive government action to address climate change.

Results from comprehensive research based on a nationally representative sample of over 1,000 households conducted by independent research specialist, RED C on behalf of Pinergy, reveals insights about consumers’ energy usage, their future behaviour plans when it comes to reducing energy consumption, attitudes around climate change and supportive actions that consumers would like to see the Government implement.

The key results from the research showed that:

  • 55% of consumers do not actively monitor and adjust energy usage.
  • 86% of consumers plan to take some sort of action to reduce electricity consumption in the next 12 months.
  • Nearly one in three consumers are quite aware of climate change but not very concerned about its potential impact.
  • There is a strong consensus among consumers to support some form of positive government action to address climate change.

We’re not monitoring our energy usage

A key finding from the research indicates that every second household (55%) in Ireland is not taking any steps to actively monitor their energy consumption and adjust their usage.

However, this figure varies particularly between age profiles, revealing that energy consumption and monitoring by consumers is very much linked to life stage, with those ‘young singles’ (64%) significantly less likely, and mature families (54%) significantly more likely to monitor and adjust their usage of energy.

Pinergy contends that this finding “represents a significant opportunity that Irish households are currently missing out on to more effectively manage their energy costs.  Energy costs represent a significant annual expenditure for Irish households and these costs are set to rise even further unless consumers get smart in how they control and manage this vital utility.”

… And the supplier’s not wrong. Wholesale gas prices have been rising gradually over the last year; in late 2017 we saw seven of Ireland’s 10 energy suppliers hike their prices in response to this, and it’s likely that other suppliers will follow last week’s hefty price increase announcement from SSE Airtricity, for another round of price hikes for 2018.

So, in anticipation of rising prices that we can’t do anything about, it might not be such a bad idea to make more of a conscious effort to change our energy usage habits - and apparently, the appetite is certainly there…    

Good intentions need follow-through  

Though the research indicates that almost nine in ten (86%) households have good intentions to change their behaviour and reduce energy costs within the next 12 months, the main focus of action is to choose options that are better known.

Three in four consumers indicated that they intend to install LED lighting but only a small 18% plan to install a smart meter, 8% plan to install solar panels and just 6% intend to install heat pumps.

Within the various life stage demographics, again the groups most likely to take action and buy LED bulbs are the mature families (87%), 55+ age group (82%) and females (80%).

Energy efficiency, climate change and Government action

Pinergy’s research related to the energy sector clearly shows widespread consensus from Irish consumers in favour of more positive government action in order to address the challenges of climate change.  

Among a list of possible government actions that could be taken, the introduction of more Government grants and incentives for installing energy efficient devices received the greatest backing of support from 93% of respondents to the survey.

Commenting on the research, Enda Gunnell, CEO at Pinergy said: “When it comes to climate change, our research indicates 85% of consumers are quite aware of the impact it could have, but more worryingly, nearly one in three of these individuals have expressed that they are not very concerned, with new families, in particular, being the least concerned about climate change.  According to recent reports, missing EU climate change and renewable energy targets will cost the state well in excess of €450m, so more action needs to be taken. If we don’t it is likely that Electricity users are likely to foot the bill in the form of an increased PSO levy or a new Carbon tax.”

What steps can I take to become more energy efficient?

Getting started with energy efficiency measures needn’t be costly or difficult. There are lots of small everyday steps that you can work into your routine to become more aware of your usage patterns. Here are our top 10 ways to use less electricity, most of which are completely free!

If you’re concerned about climate change, have you considered switching to a 100% renewable energy supplier? Ireland now has a total of four. They are easy to spot on bonkers.ie, as they are marked with a “100% Green Energy” label for your convenience.

If you’re looking to make a more solid, long-term investment in your home’s energy efficiency, you might be interested in applying for one of the SEAI’s home energy efficiency grants. The authority provides multiple different grants for measures such as solar panel, heat pump and insulation installation among others. Check out this interview we had with SEAI CEO Jim Gannon for more info:

Finally, Pinergy’s research findings coincide with an exclusive online offer that Pinergy is currently running until 30 June, incentivising consumers to become more energy efficient by kitting out homes that sign up for Pinergy’s smart meters with 20 free LED bulbs and €20 credit.

Commenting on Pinergy’s offer, Enda Gunnell, CEO at Pinergy said: “Our latest research shines a light on the huge opportunity that is now available for the many households around the country to see energy in a new way by using smart technology meters to more effectively monitor and manage their overall energy consumption and expenditure. The research clearly highlights an appetite amongst the public to take some form of action in the next 12 months to reduce energy consumption and Pinergy’s latest consumer promotion, offering 20 GE LED bulbs and €20 credit is a real incentive to kick start consumers into taking positive action right now as they embark on this smart energy journey.”

Who is Pinergy anyway?

Pinergy is a prepaid electricity supplier that specialises in helping its customers to get smart about energy efficiency in the home, offering a range of innovative energy services alongside electricity supply. Check out this catch-up we had with CEO Enda Gunnell a little while back for the full story:

The Pinergy Consumer Energy Monitor findings coincide with an exclusive online offer that Pinergy is currently running until 30 June, incentivising consumers to become more energy efficient by kitting out homes that sign up for Pinergy’s smart meters with 20 free LED bulbs and €20 credit.

Commenting on Pinergy’s latest exclusive offer to online customers, Enda Gunnell, CEO at Pinergy said: “Our latest research shines a light on the huge opportunity that is now available for the many households around the country to see energy in a new way by using smart technology meters to more effectively monitor and manage their overall energy consumption and expenditure.  The research clearly highlights an appetite amongst the public to take some form of action in the next 12 months to reduce energy consumption and Pinergy’s latest consumer promotion, offering 20 GE LED bulbs and €20 credit is a real incentive to kick start consumers into taking positive action right now as they embark on this smart energy journey.”  

To avail of Pinergy’s latest online consumer promotion, please visit: https://pinergy.ie/seethedifference

To compare Pinergy against other energy suppliers on the market, check out our energy price comparison calculator.

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