UK office energy sins revealed

A quarter (26%) regularly leave lights on in empty rooms

Busy workers and bad habits are pushing up business energy bills, according to new research by energy switching expert UK Power

Its poll of 1,000 UK residents revealed the daily energy sins that could be costing employers thousands of pounds in wasted energy every year.

Although the biggest sins are most commonly associated with household energy use – such as leaving the TV on standby and leaving the radio on when nobody is listening – many are also common in the workplace.

A third (33%) admitted to leaving kitchen appliances plugged in when not in use, while slightly fewer (30%) confessed to leaving fully-charged laptops wired up. Just over a quarter (26%) confessed to leaving the light on in empty rooms.

When it comes to the all-important office tea break, one-in-six (15%) admit to re-boiling the kettle after it has already boiled.

The UK’s top 10 daily energy sins are:

  1. Leaving the TV on standby overnight (41%)
  2. Leaving kitchen appliances plugged in when not in use (33%)
  3. Leaving a laptop plugged in when fully charged (30%)
  4. Leaving a light on in an empty room (26%)
  5. Leaving the TV on when nobody is watching (25%)
  6. Leaving a phone plugged in when fully charged (24%)
  7. Leaving a laptop on standby (22%)
  8. Re-boiling after forgetting it has just been boiled (15%)
  9. Falling asleep with the TV on (11%)
  10. Leaving the radio on when nobody is listening (10%)

To put the costs into perspective, if a business’s 100 employees each microwaved their lunch every day in 2017 (252 working days), the energy cost would total £3,024.

Commenting on the findings, Nick Heath, Head of Insight at UK Power, said: “The introduction of smart meters is allowing people around the country to get more familiar with the energy ‘cost’ of their activities.

“But it’s very interesting to see that there’s still a lack of clarity around the most and least expensive items to run, as well as the numerous bad habits people continue to have inside and outside of their homes.

“We hope our research will make people think twice about their energy habits, and of the positive impacts very small changes can have on their household and business bills”.

For the full research and to find out more about the UK’s energy habits, visit

To compare how much you’re spending on energy, visit

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