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Brits more scared of shock energy bills than ghosts or the dark

It's not just bumps in the night spooking Brits this Halloween - according to new research released today we're more likely to be scared of receiving a shock energy bill than we are of the dark or ghosts - or even a monster under the bed.

Around one in five of us say that getting a shock energy bill makes us feel physically scared, gets our pulses racing (22%) or makes us feel sick (20 per cent).

The figures were released today by the Campaign for a Smarter Britain, to highlight how smart meters spell the end for unexpected energy bills. Installed at no extra cost by your energy supplier, smart meters come with an in-home display which shows how much gas and electricity you are using in near real time, while sending regular updates to your supplier - meaning no more estimated or shock bills.

Nearly half (42 er cent) of Brits have received a shock or surprisingly expensive energy bill, but they would be able to banish their fear completely if they requested a smart meter from their energy supplier this Halloween.

The survey found that the things Brits are most scared of are:

  1. Spiders – 26 per cent
  2. Shock energy bills – 17 per cent
  3. The phone ringing unexpectedly – 12 per cent
  4. The dark – 12 per cent
  5. Ghosts – 9 per cent
  6. A monster under the bed – 6 per cent

The top 5 parts of our homes we’re most scared of this Halloween, some of which are exactly where we keep our energy meters, are:

  1. The garden – 11 per cent
  2. The loft or basement – 8 per cent
  3. Under the bed – 8 per cent
  4. The cupboard under the stairs – 6 per cent
  5. Downstairs toilet – 6 per cent

If you want to keep the frights coming this Halloween, venture into one of these scary places and listen to ‘Most Haunted’ star Yvette Fielding recite “The Energy Monsters”, a spooky bedtime story that will leave you shivering with fear.

Robert Cheesewright, Director of Corporate Affairs at Smart Energy GB, said:

“Smart meters are to shock energy bills what garlic and sunlight is to vampires, what chainsaws are to zombies and what Yvette Fielding is to evil ghosts.

“By requesting a smart meter from your energy supplier at no extra cost, you can say goodbye to the fright of a surprise bill and hello to an estimation-free life.”


Smart Energy GB have collaborated with Yvette Fielding on a new spooky bedtime story ‘The Energy Monsters’. You can listen to or download the story here.

About the survey

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from research undertaken by Opinion Matters.  Total sample size was 2,013 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 17th-19th October 2018. 

Additional survey results

When asked what people find most scary at Halloween, the thing that frightens us the most is scary Halloween movies, TV shows and trailers (34%) followed by Trick or Treaters knocking on our doors (32%).

About Smart Energy GB

Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. It’s our task to help everyone in Great Britain understand smart meters, the national rollout and how to use their new meters to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. Our national campaign is reaching households and microbusinesses in England, Scotland and Wales. For more information visit our website

About smart meters and the rollout

Smart meters replace the traditional meters we currently have in our homes. They enable accurate bills, near real time information on energy use in pounds and pence, and greater control over the way we buy and use energy. The smart meter rollout is an essential technology upgrade, unprecedented in its scale, to improve Great Britain’s energy infrastructure.

There are already more than 12 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales will be offered one at no additional cost. Contact your energy supplier about getting your smart meter.

Smart Energy GB media contacts

For more information including interview requests, case studies of smart meter users, infographics, photography and video content please contact the Smart Energy GB media team:

Smart Energy GB: [email protected]; 020 7413 3085

Helen Croney: [email protected] 0131 322 6204 / 07921 458 041