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Europeans wasting €2.4bn on annual energy bills

European households are losing €2.4bn, wasting 12 TWh of energy annually, and emitting an extra 3.3m tonnes of CO2 – more than enough to power every home in five European countries.

Revealed in a global study by Opower, a provider of cloud-based software to the utility industry, the findings report that Germany has the most to gain by adopting behavioural energy efficiency programmes due to its large population and high energy costs. UK, France, Italy and Spain are the next countries ranked by greatest potential.

The study, “Unlocking the Potential of Behavioural Energy Efficiency in Europe” reported that Germany has the potential to save up to 2.2 TWh annually. This is enough to power all the homes in Hamburg for a year and represents €521m savings in utility bills and through simple behavioural change, the UK could save up to 2.1 TWh of electricity and gas annually, impacting nearly 22m households.

Commenting on the findings, John Webster, vp marketing and strategy, Opower EMEA said: “Behavioural energy efficiency remains largely untapped by much of Europe – clearly there is a real opportunity here for many countries to cost-effectively cut their greenhouse gas emissions and increase consumer affordability.

“Take Germany as a prime example. Here is a market that has long invested in green technologies to reduce carbon usage on the supply side. Yet our study clearly reveals the size of their energy efficiency prize and the importance of demand side management, with consumer savings instead of consumer costs. Germany has the most potential to save energy simply by focusing on the role that individual consumers and businesses can play through informed behavioural change.”

According to Opower, behavioural energy efficiency measures could help countries turn around the shortfall to the European Union’s Energy Efficiency Directive, which has set the goal of a 20% reduction in energy use by 2020.


Picture credit: © Borislav Bajkic |

Opower | Europe | Energy

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