Britain launches 'It All Adds Up' energy-saving campaign

Households urged to take small steps to cut winter bills

Britain's new energy-saving drive comes amid a cold snap across the country. PA
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Britain launched an energy-saving drive on Saturday, aimed at protecting households from eye-watering winter bills.

An £18 million ($21.9 million) awareness campaign will urge people to take small steps such as switching off devices, adjusting their boilers and insulating their doors.

Other tips include washing clothes at a lower temperature and hanging them up without a tumble dryer.

The “It All Adds Up” campaign comes alongside a £38 billion ($46.14 billion) intervention to freeze energy prices until April.

Unlike EU countries striving for gas savings of 15 per cent or more, the UK has not adopted a formal target.

Former prime minister Liz Truss reportedly blocked a public information campaign in October.

But with one now launched during a cold snap, Business Secretary Grant Shapps said he would not “second guess” why it was previously squashed.

“No one is immune to rising energy bills this winter, so it’s in everyone’s interest to use every trick in the book to use less energy while keeping homes warm and staying safe,” Mr Shapps said.

“For very little or no cost, you can save pounds. It all adds up, so I urge people to take note of the advice in this new campaign and follow the easy steps to cut your fuel bills.”

Household energy bills rose by 27 per cent in October, amid a supply crunch blamed on Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.

They were due to increase by 80 per cent until the government stepped in to hold bills at £2,500 ($3,036) per year for a typical household.

But an initial promise to freeze them until 2024 has been scaled back, meaning bills will rise again in April.

“Let’s not forget this is all because Putin invaded Ukraine – that’s had a massive impact on global energy prices,” Mr Shapps told BBC Breakfast.

The campaign launch included a light-hearted video in which Mr Shapps’s cost-saving efforts at home are foiled by a Christmas elf.

His tips include turning down boiler flow temperature, meaning a room may take longer to heat but should not be any colder.

Television advertisements are expected to follow in the coming weeks, highlighting both short-term steps and longer-term energy efficiency measures.

The Conservative government says the proportion of homes with a respectable energy efficiency rating has trebled since 2010.

The opposition Labour Party says the pace of home insulation has dropped off dramatically in recent years.

Energy regulator Ofgem said the new campaign could boost Britain’s energy security as well as cutting costs.

“We know from the analysis we’ve seen that even small things, such as turning off radiators in rooms that are not in use and adapting boiler flow, can have a big impact,” said Ofgem boss Jonathan Brearley.

Updated: December 17, 2022, 12:49 PM