Energy-illiterate millennials: how many energy terms do they know?

While the average age to own your first home appears to be growing year-on-year, the majority of millennials will now have their own. These first-time homeowners know exactly how they want to decorate to truly make their home their own, but do they know how to optimise the technical performance of it? What do they know about energy bills, plans, tariffs and energy terms in general?

SaveOnEnergy sought to find out by surveying 2,381 UK millennials on topics like common energy terms, appliances that use the most energy and more, to determine how energy savvy they really are.

Can you name/define the following energy terms?

Firstly, participants were asked which common energy terms they could identify. More than half of millennials (62%) know what a watt is. While it’s great to see the base and ultimate unit of power is named by so many, it also gives a sneak peek of what’s ahead when over one third (38%) admit they can’t name it.

Watts’ older cousin kilowatt (kW) was identified by 55% of people, followed by gigawatt (50%), megawatt (38%) and dekatherm (30%). Other measurements such as British thermal unit (BTU) and billion cubic feet (BCF) was named by 29% and 21% respectively.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, only 2% and 5% knew energy industry terms like “distribution network operators” (DNO) and “distribution systems operators” (DSO).

Do you know the difference between off-peak and on-peak energy consumption?

Knowing the difference between on and off-peak can save a lot of money in the long run, particularly in some areas more than others. It’s no wonder bills cause anxiety in Brits when only 37% can distinguish the difference between these energy key terms. This means that 63% of millennials are potentially losing out on a lot of money due to a lack of understanding about energy bills.

Which appliances do you think use the most energy?

Debates exist over which appliances are adding the most to our energy bills, but what do millennials think?

Surprisingly, they think charging cables consume the most, perhaps due to the amount of time we spend on devices like mobile phones, tablets and more. Interestingly, 14% think they are more energy intensive than the likes of games consoles (13%), computers and laptops (12%), heating (10%), water heating (10%) and more.

The full list of appliances included:

  • Charging cables (14%)

  • Games consoles (13%)

  • Computer/laptop (12%)

  • Water heating (10%)

  • Heating (10%)

  • Electric oven (9%)

  • TV (7%)

  • Washer/dryer (7%)

  • Electric shower (6%)

  • Microwave/toaster (5%)

  • Refrigerator (4%)

  • Dishwasher (2%)

  • Kettle/coffee machine (1%)

Which of these day-to-day tasks do you know how to do?

Next, millennials were asked how many, if any, common tasks they knew how to do – the results really are surprising.

The first task, how to read a lightbulb label, can only be accomplished by 68% of respondents, which proves how out of touch millennials really are. Is this just due to inexperience, or in fact no experience with the matter whatsoever?

The second task millennials can do is adjusting a thermostat. 57% of millennials claim they know how to do this task, which again begs the question of what the remaining 43% will do when it gets too hot or too cold.

The remaining tasks placed as follows:

  • Set refrigerator/freezer temperature to manufacturer's recommendation – 36%

  • None of the above – 25%

  • Install programs that auto-adjust temperatures and times of operation – 23%

  • Take a meter reading – 15%

  • Calculate where you can save money on energy bills – 12%

  • Calculate the energy consumption of different appliances – 7%

Shockingly, a staggering one quarter of millennials (25%) are unable to do any of the tasks!

(Copyright Diyana Dimitrova/Shutterstock.com)

Other survey results

Topics further to energy terms and consumption were also explored, to gain a full picture of how prepared millennials are for the future.

The 2,000 millennials surveyed were asked, do you know what to do if your meter breaks/is faulty? A whopping 66% said no, 23% yes and 12% said it depends on the issue.

They were also asked for their thoughts on renewable options for the home. 63% intend to invest in renewable energy in the future (25% don’t, 12% unsure), and the types millennials have their eyes on include:

  • Solar panels – 72%

  • Wind turbines – 31%

  • Solar water heating – 23%

  • Solar ovens – 17%

  • Hydro power – 15%

  • Solar air conditioning – 9%

  • Other – 5%

  • Tubular skylights – 3%

How to save energy and reduce your energy bills

Now that lockdown is in full force, we’re bound to be spending more than usual on our energy bills - particularly in some areas more than others. So if like many others you’re wondering how to save energy and money, visit our guides page filled with all the tips tricks to get energy efficient today.

Feature image credit: antb/Shutterstock.com

Source: https://www.statista.com/statistics/557901/first-time-home-buyers-average-age-united-kingdom/