Recession-hit South West Londoners contributing to national carbon emissions


Most cannot afford to spend extra money on buying more energy efficient products.


By Hardeep Matharu, Joe Morgan, Rosie Peaty and Sam Wakefield

Recession-hit South West Londoners are contributing to national carbon emissions by avoiding expensive energy efficient appliances while still indulging in gadgets.

An Energy Saving Trust report published last week revealed UK households are consuming more energy than five years ago.

This means the UK could miss its 2020 target of reducing carbon emissions by 34% compared to 1990 levels.

Businesses in the area said most people cannot afford to spend extra money on buying more energy efficient products.

John Brown, of Molesey Refrigeration Centre, says people are now looking for the cheapest possible options.

Paul Blackmore, Director of Easy Buy Appliances in Epsom, agreed and said: “Even if people have the money, they are not spending it on energy efficient appliances.

“When it costs them more to buy these appliances, people won’t spend the money.” 

Despite the recession, consumers continue to buy lifestyle gadgets which do not help meet the energy efficiency targets.

Dr Paula Owen, author of The Energy Saving Trust’s report, said: “Our love affair with domestic gadgets and gizmos has to change.

“We need to ask ourselves is that ice-maker in the fridge a necessity?  Do I need to leave those chargers on the whole time?  Do I need a 50+ inch TV screen?  There’s more to this issue than using energy efficient light bulbs.”

A spokesman from the South Wimbledon’s Maplin electronics store said young people are the most frequent buyers of electrical devices.

He said: “The rise in energy use could be because they’re not paying the bills themselves and aren’t aware of the cost.”

However, Maplin is also visited by many businessmen buying electrical gadgets which are essential to their everyday lives.

He said: “They’re definitely necessities to them.”

Homes are responsible for 29% of the UK’s carbon emissions. 

The Energy Saving Trust’s report also said if every UK household replaced their fridge, washing machine and dishwasher with Energy Saving Trust Recommended models, they could collectively save £585million. 

Darren Johnson, Green Party Member of the London Assembly, told SW Londoner: “It is a real disappointment that household energy use continues to rise.  But it is no good simply lecturing people to go greener.

“We need the government and the Mayor of London to give people practical help to make their homes more energy efficient.  Smart meters can really help people keep an eye on how much energy their gadgets are consuming if left on all day.

“We also need a massive expansion of the Mayor’s scheme to insulate homes helping people saving energy and cash.”


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