Slowly but surely Britons are becoming greener

Slowly but surely Britons are becoming greener

But are they doing it quickly enough?

Britons have been consuming less energy year on year for the last five years despite the growth in the economy - which would usually be expected to lead to greater consumption.

New figures published this week show that new EU standards on household appliances has helped to make them more efficient.

The study, released by the Energy Saving Trust and commissioned by the BBC, shows that the UK is now using 10 per cent less energy than it was five years ago.

Energy use is lower than in 1970 even though the economy is twice as big - it's the first time in memory that energy use has fallen so substantially - and it's due to policy.

It's a real achievement. But we can't be complacent - the improvements in home insulation have fallen back since the government introduced the Green Deal in 2013.

  • Dr Nick Eyre, Oxford University, speaking to the BBC

David Cameron's Coalition government was criticised by campaigners who spotted that there was absolutely no mention of the environment in the latest Autumn Statement.

While the new figures could be seen as good news for those in favour of regulation and some will say that reduced consumption should be celebrated, other analysts say that much more still needs to be done to help fight climate change.

The figures for households are very good news - but frankly they have been achieved without a great deal of government effort.

Imagine what we could do with a proper strategy for demand reduction. We have a long way to go.

  • Joanne Wade, Association for the Conservation of Energy

The government's Green Deal plan was also criticised back in June for falling behind its targets.

More: New figures show 'greenest government ever' is failing to reach targets

More: 10 easy ways you can help to stop climate change, starting today

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