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News 9 September 2021

New research finds 61% of Scottish residents have used more energy due to Covid-19

New findings published today by Energy Saving Trust reveal that Covid-19 has had a significant impact on energy consumption, with 61% of households in Scotland claiming to have used more energy this year due to the pandemic.

People have also become more aware of their energy usage and rising bills costs, which has made them more willing to try and reduce energy consumption by adopting energy saving behaviours and carrying out home improvements.

However, less than one in five (19%) have been prompted to make energy saving improvements at home because of the impact of Covid-19 on energy bills.

The most popular energy saving behaviour identified in the research was turning off appliances when not in use, followed by closing curtains and blinds, choosing low energy bulbs and setting heat controls properly.

But households will need to make a greater commitment and investment in order to bring bills down and reduce household emissions, if we are to reach Scotland’s ambitious ‘net zero’ targets by 2045.

The research also showed that a clear understanding of the financial and environmental impact of energy saving home improvements would help motivate people to make changes. Likewise, knowledge about financial support – to help cover costs – would encourage more people to act. Fewer than 1 in 3 people were aware of financial support available in Scotland to help people make home energy saving improvements.


As our domestic and work arrangements have changed drastically due to the Covid-19 pandemic, so has our awareness of the energy we’re using and paying for.

Households know they’re using more energy and are aware they’re paying more too; many of the people we spoke to were paying well above average for energy, often as a direct result of the pandemic. Of the 15% who claimed to be in fuel poverty*, almost half attributed that directly to the effects of lockdown.

It’s encouraging to see so many people recognising what they can do to take action and reduce their energy consumption, and therefore bills. It’s clear that people need support when it comes to understanding how to significantly reduce energy consumption, and what the costs and benefits will be in doing so.

You can read the full report on our website.

*Respondents self identified with the term ‘fuel poverty’ so individual interpretations may vary – results are indicative only.


Last updated: 9 September 2021