Energy Myths Exposed

by Adam on March 30, 2012

The sunny weather in the UK recently might have made you forget about heating bills for a while, but it’s something you need to always be conscious about as minimising your energy usage and finding the best deal can have a big impact on the amount of money you can save more exciting and meaningful things!

Energy Myths Exposed

Source: Find Energy Savings

How do YOU save energy?

{ 7 comments… read them below or add one }

101 Centavos

Interesting. On the more sin taxes vs. less heating taxes, I wonder how that question was framed in the survey. Sometimes the agenda of the survey takers is pushed through in leading survey questions.

Adam

My professional background is in research and I’ve written a lot of surveys in my time. From an agency perspective we always tried to ensure the questions were as balanced as possible, despite what our client may have wanted. That said, you’re right to be sceptical as research is rarely conducted perfectly.

Bret @ Hope to Prosper

This post is cracking me up Adam. I am picturing Bob Cratchett with rags on his hands counting in the cold for Ebeneizer Scrooge.

We are so lucky where I live in sunny California. I only turn my heater on for a couple of months a year and we usually turn it off during the day and let the sun shine in the windows. Even so, I bought a newer high-efficiency heater and our gas bills are only a fraction of what they used to be. Of course, it does cost a lot to live here.

Adam

Well, Bret, in the UK we don’t have to pay for AC so that’s a saving right there! On the rare occasion its very hot we can just open a window.

It’s not typical in the UK to own a clothes dryer either.

Where about’s are you in sunny CA? I’m heading over to San Fran in September, after visiting Denver for FinCon12. Will you be there?

Bret @ Hope to Prosper

Adam,

I live in San Clemente, which is half-way between L.A. and San Diego. Our city has the motto “World’s Best Climate”. Our house doesn’t have air conditioning, since we live just a few blocks from the ocean. I grew up inland and it was way too hot in the summer. I don’t miss that.

I am quite a ways from San Francisco and am not sure yet if I will attend FinCon. If so, I’ll let you know. Also, if you ever come near Southern California, let me know.

maria@moneyprinciple

Adam, I do like this post very much – particualrly the fact that it uses very few words and says so much. I would like to jump on the conversation between 101 Centavos and you. On the one hand:

1) It looks to me that most questions that were reported asked about facts – do you switch your heating during the day? Do you switch iff to: … etc.
2) The tax question is about opinion, however, and the only thing that can be done about it is to ensure that simple methodological guidlines are followed. Like do not ask suggestive questions and watch the order of the answers. I would have not asked this question as a Lickert scale though.
3) Interpreatation of the answers is still difficult – the fact that lower proportion of older people switch off their heating doesn;t mean that lower proportion of them are freezing (younger people are out most of the day, for example, so leaving the heating on is wasteful; older people are generally around and switching heating off can be reckless).

And your statement that you have written ‘a lot of surveys in your time’ brought a smile to my face; when I was younger I loved crashing this kind of argument for competence. Mercifully I have mellowed a lot.

Adam

Maria, great to hear your take – great points.

I never referenced my competence for questionnaire writing (!), just that I’d like to think I was a little better informed about the complexities and challenges.

As with most things, if the graphic raises consciousness of the issues, then it’s a positive thing.

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