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EDF commits £185 million to energy efficiency spend as online searches for 'how to keep house warm’ spike by 129%

By EDF | Posted December 01, 2023
  • Analysis of online search data reveals an 129% increase in searches for ‘how to keep house warm’ since last since last year1
  • Despite a reduction in the energy price cap, 99% of Brits are as concerned or more concerned about their energy bills this winter compared to last
  • More than two thirds of households (68%) have thought more about ways to make their home more energy efficient but cost remains the biggest barrier (19%)
  • EDF is helping customers save cash and carbon, increasing its 2023 ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme spend by £103m to increase energy efficiency for households, bringing down bills permanently and improving homes’ EPC ratings2

New research3 reveals that over half (56%) of Brits are more concerned about paying their energy bills this winter compared to last - with 43% as concerned.

Despite a reduction in the energy price cap this quarter, people are increasingly turning to the internet to find ways to manage their energy bills. Analysis of online UK data1, conducted by EDF, reveals searches for ‘how to keep house warm’ have risen by 129% in the past year alone, with. ‘energy saving tips’ increasing by 53% in the same time period.

To help households, EDF has increased its investment to improve energy efficiency for households through support from the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) and the Great British Insulation Schemes (GBIS) by £103m in 2023. Under the scheme rules suppliers are able to invest in ECO at any point until March 2026, but rather than wait, EDF is bringing forward this investment to make sure households in need can benefit from warmer homes and lower bills as soon as possible. This will bring its total committed spend on ECO and GBIS in 2023 up to £185m, benefitting 14,000 households, giving the average customer an annual bill saving of between £700 and £800 per year.

With energy bills almost double what they were before the energy crisis, the research also revealed that 37% of Brits have turned to Google to help them combat rising energy bills in the past 12 months. The analysis of online UK data revealed many are searching online for specific energy efficient measures they can do to save money in the home. Some of the most popular searches over the past 12 months (since September 2022) include:

  • ‘Cling film over windows’ - 321% increase in searches
  • ‘Closing curtains to keep heat in’ - 300% increase in searches
  • ‘Drying clothes on radiator’ - 181% increase in searches

Other notable searches include: ‘stopping draughts’, ‘painting radiators black’, ‘washing clothes at night’, ‘using carpet as insulation’, ‘best time of day to shower’ and ‘heating room with oven’.

Over the last year, over a third (36%) of households have invested in energy efficiency methods, with the most popular method being installing underfloor insulation (57%), followed by radiator panels (53%). 

Although, whilst 68% of people are thinking of more ways to improve their home energy efficiency, acting on the most effective measures might be challenging. Research found that one of the main reasons energy efficiency improvements were not made was because ‘it is too expensive to install’ them (19%).

Other popular, more cost-effective ways people have improved their home's energy efficiency included draught proofing around windows and door frames (49%), putting draught excluders in front of doors (47%) and placing rugs in rooms with hard flooring (45%).

With over three quarters (77%) of households believing more needs to be done to support vulnerable customers and a fifth (20%) concerned about falling into arrears on their energy bills, EDF’s investment will offer eligible customers living in a home with a low EPC rating a package of free energy-saving measures and heating improvements to help bring down bills permanently and improve their homes EPC rating.

Philippe Commaret, Managing Director for Customers at EDF commented: “It’s clear that as the colder weather approaches, people are concerned about keeping their homes warm in a cost-effective way. Tackling the energy efficiency of people’s homes is the number one way we can help to reduce bills and we’re not choosing to stand still or wait. We’re spending an extra £103m on the ECO and Great British Insulation Schemes this year which will deliver savings to thousands of vulnerable customers.”

The ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme includes measures such as home insulation, boiler upgrades, upgrading existing electric heating systems to a more energy-efficient solution or adding a zero carbon heating system like an air source heat pump, all of which will help households save both cash and carbon. Since April 2022, EDF has delivered 52,000 energy efficiency measures saving customers £10 million on their bills each year, on average saving 24,298 tCO2 per year, the equivalent yearly emissions of over 6,000 cars.

Commaret continues: “Choosing to bring forward the funding in the ECO and Great British Insulation Scheme to this year, means our customers will benefit from lower bills and warmer homes sooner rather than later. And to make this as easy as possible, our new Home Efficiency Hub will tell customers what measures will help them save the most cash and carbon and which grants might be available.”

Find out more about ECO4 and see if you’re eligible to apply for the Great British Insulation Scheme.

Additionally, EDF’s is launching a new Home Efficiency Hub tool where customers can create a free home energy efficiency improvement plan and find an installer to turn their plans into a reality. The plan will also set out any grants or funding that may be available, saving customers time and helping them reduce their carbon emissions in the journey to Net Zero.

For further support on ways to get ready for winter and reduce energy consumption in the home, there is advice and energy-saving tips available on the government’s ‘It All Adds Up’ website


For more information contact:

EDF Press Office:

Notes to Editors

  1. UK Google searches of respective search terms between September 2022 and September 2023
  2. The ECO4 Scheme
  3. Research conducted by OnePoll between 18th and 22nd September, of 2,000 homeowners and renters at least partly responsible for paying the energy bill
  4. Additionally, EDF’s partner IncomeMax has seen a 44% increase of in-work households referred by the supplier requesting Government financial support. EDF press release issued to media 29.09.23: EDF to slash “regressive” standing charges for vulnerable customers as part of £40m winter support package
  5. EDF is boosting its funding on social initiatives by £15 million, increasing support for vulnerable customers to £40 million in the coming year. £7.5m of this funding will be spent on effectively rolling back standing charges for at least 260,000 Warm Home Discount Core Groups 1 and 2 customers, to their pre-crisis level (April ’21), with these vulnerable customers set to benefit from a £30 credit to their December bill. For customers with credit meters, credits will be applied to the customer’s account directly, if a customer has a prepayment/pay as you go meter EDF will issue a credit to the customers meter
  6. EDF: Public show strong support for a social energy tariff, as winter approaches
  7. Daily Express: DIY: Expert shares warning over painting radiators despite new trend - ‘emit less heat’


About EDF

EDF is helping Britain achieve Net Zero by leading the transition to a cleaner, low emission, electric future and tackling climate change. It is the UK’s largest producer of low-carbon electricity(1) and supplies millions of customers with electricity and gas.

It generates low carbon electricity from five nuclear power stations and more than thirty onshore wind farms and two offshore wind farms.

EDF is leading the UK's nuclear renaissance with the construction of a new nuclear power station at Hinkley Point C, and there are advanced plans for a replica at Sizewell C in Suffolk. Hinkley Point C and Sizewell C will provide low carbon electricity to meet 14% of UK demand and power around 12 million homes.

EDF is one of the UK’s largest investors in renewables, with more than 1GW of renewable generation in operation and over 5GW in construction, planning and development across a range of technologies including onshore and offshore wind, solar and battery storage. We are constructing our largest offshore wind farm in Britain – the 450 MW Neart na Gaoithe project in Scotland.

EDF is helping its customers, both in business and at home, take their first steps to sustainably powering their lives. Whether it is buying an electric car, generating and storing electricity, selling energy back to the grid or installing a heat pump. EDF is one of the largest suppliers to British business and a leading supplier of innovative energy solutions that are helping businesses become more energy independent. In addition, the company’s energy services business, Dalkia, is one of the largest technical service providers in the UK and Ireland.

EDF is part of EDF Group, the world’s biggest electricity generator. In the UK, the company employs around 14,000 people at locations across England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland.

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