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Despite increased focus on energy due to cost of living, research reveals confusion among Brits about where their electricity comes from

  • Brits significantly underestimate how much electricity is home-grown: on average estimating 38 per cent of our electricity is produced in the UK when the figure stands at 93 per cent
  • A third (36 per cent) of Brits want to know more about where their energy comes from
  • 41 per cent support generating more energy in the UK to make our system smarter and more sustainable
  • 39 per cent want to use electricity and gas more efficiently to keep bills down

New research reveals that despite all of the attention on energy bills many of us are confused about where our energy comes from and significantly underestimate how much of our electricity is home-grown. The research also shows that many of us are keen to understand more.

The study by Smart Energy GB quizzed 4,000 people across England, Scotland and Wales1 and revealed that on average Brits think we produce around 38 per cent of our own electricity. Yet, according to the National Grid, we actually produce 93 per cent of our electricity on this green and powerful land.2,3

In fact, 30 per cent say they feel disconnected from how energy is made, whilst a quarter admit they have no idea how domestic energy makes its way into our homes.

Smart Energy GB wants to get Brits talking more about energy and how smart meters in our homes and businesses will help make the most of home-grown renewable sources of electricity – such as wind and solar – so that in the future, we can rely less on imported gas.

Those surveyed also underestimate the amount of electricity from renewable sources that we generate in Great Britain – guessing 32 per cent. This compares to 39 per cent of the energy that was generated through sources such as wind, solar and hydropower in 2021.

However, the war in Ukraine and price rises have prompted more interest and a desire to make a difference:

  • 36 per cent of Brits say they are showing more interest in where their energy comes from due to increasing prices;
  • 45 per cent say they want less reliance on fossil fuels;
  • 41 per cent of Brits support generating more energy in the UK to make our energy system smarter and more sustainable;
  • 38 per cent say global events have made them realise we need a smart and efficient energy system in Great Britain;
  • 39 per cent want to be more efficient in how they use energy so they can keep their bills down.

With over half (57 per cent) saying they are more likely to purchase goods that are made in Britain, Smart Energy GB wants households to understand more about the energy that is produced on home turf and how smart meters will help us to use it in an increasingly efficient and effective way.

Victoria Bacon, Director at Smart Energy GB commented: “The energy crisis is getting people talking a lot more about energy in this country. While most of that conversation is understandably about bills, people also want to know more about where their energy comes from and what the future looks like.

“Smart meters will play a vital role in bringing energy to our homes efficiently and effectively. They will help us to more accurately predict where and when energy will be needed and help people to use it in a more flexible way which means, in the future, we can make more use of renewable energy sources and better cope with surges in demand – like when we all cook dinner. This in turn means we can be more independent in the future and rely less on gas imported from abroad.”

The research also revealed that 52 per cent associate the phrase ‘made in Britain’ with quality and excellence and a further 31 per cent said they’d feel prouder if they knew more about the energy that’s produced here. Smart meters in homes and businesses are giving Brits a better understanding of their energy use at home and on a national scale, the information they provide will help us make more use of renewable electricity sources that make our energy system more resilient.