HOME security fears could be costing older people a fortune on electricity bills this winter, with seven out of ten leaving lights on when they’re not at home – and most doing it because they are worried about opportunist crime.
National research into household energy use has shown that 69% of those aged 55 and over are paying to light up their empty houses – with the overwhelming majority fearful they will be vulnerable to break-ins unless they stay switched on. Comparatively, younger people are far less concerned about the threat of intruders this winter, with just 24% of 18 to 24-year olds leaving lights on to deter burglars.
Keith Scott at LEDHut.co.uk (which carried out the research) says: “The advice from the police is that lighting is a very effective deterrent against theft, so the 55+ age group is certainly doing the right thing by being vigilant.
The problem this winter is that energy costs are soaring and it’s becoming increasingly expensive to stay switched on.
“Even if they pop out for a couple of hours each day, feeling secure could be costing older people £120 more than it needs to every year. With this in mind, it really does pay to find ways to stay safe and save this winter. Just swapping their traditional bulbs for money- and energy-saving LEDs could cut people’s lighting bills by up 90%. It’s also worth investing in a timer to control which lights come on when you’re out, as leaving the same light switched on all the time can be a clue that no-one is home. A motion-sensor outdoor security light will also help deter unwanted night-time visitors.”
The survey of 2,000 UK adults was carried out by LEDHut.co.uk as part of its Savvy Switch campaign, which aims to help households save by making simple, low-cost changes to slash their energy use this winter. Fronted by property expert Sarah Beeny, the Savvy Switch is urging homes to make the simple switch to eco-friendly, money-saving LED light bulbs – a move that could see an incredible total saving of more than £8bn on electricity bills and 5m tonnes of CO2.