- Changes to our daily routines as a result of lockdown could shrink the nation’s carbon footprint by reducing pressure on energy demand at peak times
- EDF estimates that if a third of households continue to use their dishwasher and washing machines at non-peak times, annual CO2 emissions could reduce by half a million tonnes – equivalent to more than 750,000 cars switching to electric vehicles
- 8 in 10 Brits keen to see lifestyle changes that have had a positive impact on the planet continue post-lockdown
Changes to our daily household routines could have a long-term positive impact on our carbon footprint – as data from EDF reveals households continuing to take care of chores throughout the day could reduce the need for fossil-fuelled generation at peak times once industries power up again.
Historically, households created additional demand for energy at peak times, typically between 4 and 7pm, as people returned home from work and started to tackle these day-to-day chores at the same time. However, since lockdown began, demand for energy throughout the day has smoothed.
The data, released as part of work by the low carbon electricity supplier to assess the impact of lockdown routines on energy efficiency, estimates that if just over a third of households continue to use their dishwasher and washing machines at non-peak times in the future, as they have been doing during the lockdown, annual CO2 emissions could reduce by half a million tonnes – the equivalent to more than 750,000 cars switching to electric vehicles (EVs)*.
The announcement comes as consumer research** undertaken by EDF reveals 8 in 10 of us are keen to see environmentally-friendly lifestyle changes continue after restrictions are lifted.
The study of 2,000 UK residents found that lockdown restrictions have caused the nation to reassess the impact of their daily habits on the environment, with 40% planning to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint post-lockdown, rising to 51% of those under the age of 34. The most popular steps were:
- Walking more (67%)
- Recycling more (52%)
- Purchasing more locally produced products (47%)
- Using the car less (46%)
- Unplugging electronic devices when not in use (37%)
The reduced pollution levels resulting from dramatically fewer vehicles on the road have also sparked an increased interest in EVs, with 1 in 5 (19%) more likely to consider switching to a low emission EV in the future.
78% of people believe we can all do more to reduce our carbon footprint once restrictions are lifted. However, despite the potential impact on CO2 emissions, less than a third (31%) are aware that the time of day they do household chores, such as washing dishes and laundry, impacts their carbon footprint.
There is a strong demand for more advice on living greener, with nearly two thirds (62%) wanting information about how to reduce their carbon footprint.