Young people 'don't understand energy bills'

Looking at bills

Just seven per cent of bill payers aged under 35 say they fully understand their energy bill while a third of the age group do not know that wind energy is a renewable power source.

The figures come from the Energy Saving Trust, which found householders aged over 55 are more familiar with their bills. Eighteen per cent claim to fully understand them while 15 per cent did not spot wind as a source of renewable energy in a survey.

The Energy Saving Trust warns that this lack of 'energy literacy' means people are less able to cut the amount of electricity they use at home. However, it offers ten 'quick wins' and a digital quiz to help people save energy and money on their bills.

"We now have a generation of householders who don't understand their bills and have little idea where energy comes from. One reason for this is that many young people rent and do not own their home, they are simply not invested in energy efficiency like their older relatives," explains Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust.  

"We are calling on one generation to impart their knowledge to another so young people can learn to save energy and not worry so much about their bills."

The survey also found that 82 per cent of consumers are interested in saving energy, even if it means making a change to daily routines, but younger people are less likely to do this; over-55s are 20 per cent more likely than the younger age group to only boil as much water as they need to make a cup of tea, for example.

Under-35s are twice as likely to own or be interested in owning smart heating controls, but 30 per cent of those interested under-35s said this was because they'd be 'fun to try'.

"While devices like smart heating controls are great tools for helping people reduce their energy use, there is no substitute for understanding how your activity in the home affects your bills and your lifestyle," says Philip Sellwood.