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‘Power Paranoia’ grips the nation as the number of gadgets in homes rises 57% in 10 years

  • 1 in 3 Brits admit to feeling anxious that they’ve left electrical appliances such as hair straighteners on when they leave home
  • Almost a quarter (23%) have had their day ruined by power paranoia
  • Average Brit wastes 19 hours every year checking devices are switched off before leaving home in the morning

Brits have gone gadget mad, but according to new research released today the process of checking and re-checking appliances are switched off before leaving the house wastes UK adults more than three minutes every morning – or 19 hours a year. For people aged between 18 and 24 this rises to over an entire day wasted each year, with a combined 26 hours spent making sure everything is switched off.

The new study from Hive, a British Gas Innovation, finds the UK in the grip of power paranoia, fuelling an overwhelming need for more than a third (36%) of us to repeatedly check that electronic devices such as hair straighteners and chargers are switched off before leaving the house.

The growth of power paranoia correlates with the increase in gadget and appliance ownership, which has risen 57% since 2005:

  • Coffee machine ownership has increased from 9% in 2005, to 33% in 2015
  • Ownership of straightening irons and curling tongs has seen a similar increase from 10% in 2005 to 38% in 2015
  • Nearly half (42%) of Brits now own a tablet, a laptop and a smartphone

Kassir Hussain, Director of Centrica Connected Home UK, said: “We all fit a phenomenal amount into our daily lives, not least in the mornings which can be one of the most hectic times of the day. Gadgets and appliances are intended to make our lives easier, so the fact they’re slowing us down and afflicting us with niggling doubts is a problem.”

For many, niggling doubts over switches and sockets being set to off have lasting consequences, with just under a quarter (23%) saying the resulting anxiety has ruined their day. Meanwhile, 15% of people surveyed admitted to resorting to phoning housemates and relatives to carry out checks in their absence.

As a solution to this problem, Hive has developed the Hive Active Plug™, which allows you to turn appliances on and off from wherever you are – so if you’re worried you’ve left your hair straighteners or iron on after leaving the house, you can check and switch them off from your phone. The Hive Active Plug™ also allows users to set a schedule using up to 6 time slots a day to switch electrical appliances on and off automatically, meaning you’re not wasting electricity by keeping appliances such as lights on when you don’t need them.

Conducted amongst over 2,000 UK adults, the study shows that women are the most susceptible to power paranoia, with 10% more women than men admitting to worrying that they’ve left electrical appliances on once they’ve left the house. When asked what would be most useful to help them get up and out on time in the mornings, women were just as likely to choose an app which lets them check whether they remembered to switch off their appliances – and switch them off remotely if they hadn’t – as a personal wardrobe assistant!

The research also found that electrical appliances aren’t the only thing slowing us down and making us fret when we’re trying to get out of the house on time. Concerns around basic home security measures afflict us too, and with good reason; one in 10 people have left the house without securely shutting the front door, 28% have left windows open and more than a third (38%) have mistakenly left lights on.

In addition to the Hive Active Plug™, Hive is also introducing the Hive Window or Door Sensor to help customers monitor what’s going on at home even when they’re not there. The wireless sensor is attached to a window or door frame, and will send an alert to your mobile, tablet or laptop via the Hive app if the window or door is open or closed.

Kassir continued: “We’ve created the Hive Active Plug™ and the Hive Window or Door Sensor to fit seamlessly into people’s lives – to give them new ways to control and monitor their homes, wherever they are. That’s the job of connected home products: to restore people’s peace of mind and provide reassurance when it’s needed most as well as providing customers with control anytime, anywhere.” 

 

ENDS

Notes to editors

Survey methodology

The research was conducted by Populus among 2,000 nationally representative UK adults in November 2015.

About Hive Active Heating™

Hive Active Heating™ is the first product from Hive, a British Gas innovation – the brand focused on delivering products and services that help people have more control over their homes. Hive Active Heating™ lets people control their heating and hot water via their mobile, tablet and laptop.  Of existing customers:

  • 61% say they used Hive at least once a day last winter
  • 92% say they’ve recommended it to a friend or family member
  • 98% feel more in control of their heating than ever before

Launched in October 2013 there are now more than 250,000 households across the UK using the multi-award winning product. Only Hive Active Heating™ comes with installation included by a British Gas engineer. It’s available to buy at hivehome.com, britishgas.co.uk, Amazon, John Lewis, Maplin, Very, Littlewoods, Argos, Apple stores and selected Currys/PC World stores.

You don’t need to be a British Gas customer to have Hive Active Heating™, it works no matter who supplies your energy.

Hive Active Heating™ is available to buy online at hivehome.com for £249, including professional installation from a British Gas engineer.

Discover more at hivehome.com

Have a look at what the future Hive connected home will look like at hiveconnectedhome.com

About the Hive Active Plug™

The Hive Active Plug™ lets people control appliances via their mobile, tablet and laptop, and work seamlessly with the Hive home Hub and app.

The Hive Active Plug™ is available to purchase online now at hivehome.com, and will begin shipping immediately.

Each plug will cost just £39. For customers new to Hive the Hive Hub will also need to be purchased at £80. For existing Hive Active Heating customers the existing Hive Hub will work with all new products.

About the Hive Window or Door Sensor

The Hive Window or Door Sensor is a wireless contact sensor that can be fitted to windows, door frames, cupboard doors and drawers. People can choose to be notified if these are open or closed via their mobile, tablet and laptop as the Hive Window or Door Sensor works seamlessly with the Hive home Hub and app.

The Hive Window or Door Sensor is available to purchase online now at hivehome.com. Shipping will commence from week commencing 8th February.

Each Hive Window or Door Sensor will cost just £29. For customers new to Hive the Hive Hub will also need to be purchased at £80. For existing Hive Active Heating customers the existing Hive Hub will work with all new products.

About the Hive Motion Sensor

The Hive Motion Sensors is a wireless passive infra-red (PIR) motion sensor that will detect motion in a space – specifically moving people. Users can be notified of moving people remotely via their mobile, tablet and laptop as the Hive Motion Sensor works seamlessly with the Hive home Hub and app.

The Hive Motion Sensor will be available to purchase online from 9th February; shipping will commence from week commencing 22nd February. 

Each motion sensor will cost just £29. For customers new to Hive the Hive Hub will also need to be purchased at £80. For existing Hive Active Heating customers the existing Hive Hub will work with all new products.

About Hive

Hive is a British Gas Innovation and has been created by a British Gas business unit called Connected Homes. Hive created its first product, Hive Active Heating™, in 2013 to let people control their heating and hot water from their mobile, tablet and laptop. Over 250,000 people in the UK now use Hive Active Heating™, making it the UK’s leading connected thermostat. Hive aims to give people new ways to have the control they want for their homes through connected technology, creating a little magic in the everyday along the way.

For more information contact:

British Gas Press Office
British Gas
0800 107 7015
media@britishgas.co.uk

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy supplier, and serves around 11 million homes in Britain – nearly half the country’s homes – as well as providing energy to around half a million British businesses. British Gas provides value for money, dedicated customer service, innovative energy solutions and the highest quality Homes Services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.


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