FACTBOX: Impacts, savings from cutting UK energy use

Wed Sep 2, 2009 8:42am EDT
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LONDON (Reuters) - Over 40 percent of Britain's carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions, the main greenhouse gas causing climate change, come from the energy we use at home and in traveling.

As politicians gear up for more climate change talks later this month in New York, changing people's attitudes toward energy consumption could be key in reducing emissions.

The average British home emits around five and a half tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, twice the amount of a car.

Homes could save 1.5 tonnes of CO2, equivalent to 300 pounds a year, by insulating, improving their heating system and being energy efficient. Businesses could save over 2.5 billion pounds a year through carbon reduction measures, such as replacing oil boilers or installing new lighting.

The impacts of energy consumption in Britain and some potential savings are set out below.


Leaving appliances and gadgets on standby wastes as much electricity as the annual output of two 700 megawatt power stations.

We waste over 600,000 tonnes of CO2 a year, equal to 170 million pounds, by leaving lights on unnecessarily.

Over 700,000 tonnes a year of CO2 is wasted by people overfilling their kettles. If people boiled only the water needed each time, we could save enough electricity in a year to run Britain's street lighting for nearly 7 months.   Continued...