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A view of North London by night from the London Eye. (Credit: Flickr @ Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier http://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/)
A view of North London by night from the London Eye. (Credit: Flickr @ Jean-Etienne Minh-Duy Poirrier http://www.flickr.com/photos/jepoirrier/)

Average total household energy consumption in England and Wales decreased by 24.7% from 2005 to 2011, according to a report released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics. Among the reasons for this decline in energy use, the report lists improved energy efficiency due to household improvements, introduction of energy rating scales for properties, improved efficiency of gas boilers, increase in public awareness of environmental issues and last but not least, increased gas and electricity prices.

Change in average household energy consumption in local areas 2005-11. (Source: Energy and Climate Change). Click to enlarge.
Change in average household energy consumption in local areas 2005-11. (Source: Energy and Climate Change). Click to enlarge.

Average household energy consumption in England and Wales decreased 24.7% between 2005 and 2011, from 26.2 megawatt hours (mW·h) in 2005 to 19.7 mW·h in 2011. Within England and Wales, the East Midlands had the highest household energy consumption for every year in the period, but this decreased 29.4% from 39.0 mW·h per household in 2005 to 27.5 mW·h in 2011.

The East Midlands had the largest decrease in absolute terms (11.5 mW·h) but the West Midlands had the largest decrease in percentage terms at 30.0% (a fall from 29.0 mW·h to 20.3 mW·h).

Over the seven year period, the South West had the lowest average household energy consumption for five of these years. The only two years when the South West did not record the lowest energy consumption were 2005 and 2011, when Wales had the lowest energy consumption per household.

The data used in the analysis, however, did not include the amount of energy from wood, heating oil or other sources consumed domestically and so the total energy consumption of households may underestimate the true amount of total domestic energy consumed. According to 2011 Census data, the percentage of households in England and Wales that used heating oil, wood or other sources of energy to provide central heating was 6.4%. Wales had the highest proportion of households that used these other sources of energy (11.5%) and the North West had the lowest (3.5%).

It is interesting to note that, while according to the EIA average energy use per person in the United States declines from 2011 to 2040, the use of electricity in the residential sector is growing.