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The BLTs - the ‘Brits Losing Time’ to endless life admin

New research reveals that the sandwich generation are three times more likely to find they spend too much time completing life admin tasks, compared to the average Brit

As parents across Britain prepare for the back to school madness, many adults will find themselves with even less time than usual.

But as we're signing permission forms, ironing school uniforms and picking out new pencils, there are some Brits out there under even more of a time-strain than most. These adults, known as those within the sandwich generation, are busy helping both older and younger relatives with everything from personal care to everyday life admin.

Three in five (61 per cent) of those surveyed within the sandwich generation are spending a significant amount of time helping their relatives with small, everyday tasks such as handling their finances, reading their meters and paying their energy bills or collecting their medical prescriptions.

In doing so,  two in five (42 per cent) of the sandwich generation feel they spend too much of their valuable spare time completing such life admin tasks, that's compared to just 15 per cent of the general population.

Sending in meter readings, paying our energy bills and staying in for the meter reader was selected as one of the most time-consuming life admin tasks by more than a quarter of Brits in the sandwich generation (27 per cent). It's perhaps therefore not surprising to find that nearly a third (31 per cent) of these adults are helping someone else with their energy bills and providers.

But fortunately, there is a helping hand available to regain some precious spare time into daily life. Smart meters replace the traditional analogue meters we have in our homes with a new, digital model which can send automatic meter readings to your energy supplier. So, you'll no longer have to deal with the hassle of reading your meter, submitting your data online or waiting at home for the meter reader to call.

Juliet Landau Pope, Time-management Expert and Life Coach, said:

"As someone who can relate first-hand to understanding the time pressures of caring for both parents and children at the same time, the last thing we should be spending our time doing is sending meter readings to our energy supplier.

"Smart meters are a great tool for eliminating this type of life admin and giving us more control over our precious time."

Juliet Landau Pope's advice for better time management:

1. Learn to love lists

Whether you're a pen-and-pencil person or an app aficionado, get into the habit of writing own all the things you need to accomplish within a specific time frame. Once you've compiled a list, you'll find it easier to think clearly and strategically.

2. Prioritise purposely

A to-do list can be overwhelming if you don't find ways to focus on what matters most. So, review your list daily or weekly and circle a select number of essential tasks, no more than 3 per day. These become your will-do list. It's a simple shift but far more motivating.

3. Simplify and systematise

When time is short, it's vital to find systems that cut out unnecessary tasks. And fortunately, technology can often assist. A smart meter, for example, will send automatic readings directly to your supplier so that's one less thing for you to worry about.

4. Better done than perfect

Don't waste time because you're aspiring to impossible standards. Remember that good enough is usually good enough!

5. Pace yourself and celebrate progress

Boost your motivation by paying attention to what you DO achieve. Small steps are worth celebrating. So, next time you tick something off your to-do list, savour the moment rather than rushing onto the next activity.

Iagan MacNeil from Smart Energy GB said:

"Through automatic meter readings, smart meters are helping many time-poor Brits across Great Britain rid themselves of one hassle they needn't have to deal with - energy admin.

"As the building blocks of a smart grid and the foundation of a clean and affordable energy infrastructure, smart meters are also helping to fight climate change by allowing Great Britain to better integrate renewables, minimise energy wastage, and transition to the mass uptake of electric vehicles."

Smart meters are a key part of building a smart energy grid that can better facilitate renewable power, and cut down on our country's carbon emissions. every household that opts for a smart meter is helping Britain towards a cleaner, greener and more sustainable future.


Notes to editors

The research also found that:

  • Of the sandwich generation, almost four in 10 (37 per cent) believe that a smart meter would help save them time on this type of life admin
  • More than a third (35 per cent) of the sandwich generation feel they have too little time to spend as they wish
  • When the sandwich generation are short on time, personal care activities like organising hair or beauty appointments (38 per cent), are amongst those dropped to the bottom of their list with watching TV (41 per cent) exercising (36 per cent), or hobbies (34 per cent) as the top things that get completely put off
  • Nearly three in five (57 per cent) of those in the sandwich generation are aged between 25 and 34*

*In this research, the sandwich generation is defined as an adult who provides regular care for an older AND younger relative.

Research was conducted by Opinium Research on 4,407 adults across England, Scotland and Wales, on behalf of Smart Energy GB, in April 2019.

About smart meters and the rollout

Britain is committed to a brighter future:one with zero emissions, a low-carbon economy - and an energy system we can be proud of.

To make this happen, our nation requires a major upgrade to its energy infrastructure. Smart meters, which replace traditional analogue meters, are the building blocks of a smart grid, the foundation of a clean and affordable energy infrastructure, allowing Great Britain to integrate renewables, minimise energy wastage, and transition to mass uptake of electric vehicles.

There are already over 13 million smart meters installed in homes and microbusinesses across Great Britain. Every household in England, Scotland and Wales can now see their energy use in near real-time, receive accurate bills and do their bit for the planet, by requesting a smart meter, at no extra cost, from their energy supplier.

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

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:

Billie Robinson: [email protected]; 0203 019 1055 / 07921 852 531