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House-proud Britain: Typical home will spend 11 hours on 2016 spring clean

  • The average spring clean takes 11 hours – across the UK that adds up to 560 million hours
  • Householders will burn an average of 658 calories tackling their spring clean – the same as the average 10k run
  • Spring clean tradition is thriving – almost three quarters of homes plan a spring clean this year  
  • The average clean will use £0.57p worth of energy

To mark the official start of spring today (Tues 1st March) British Gas has published new research looking at how much energy people will put into their spring cleaning ritual this year. Its survey found that the nation will spend a collective 560 million hours getting homes primped and preened in 2016. Householders will burn a whopping 3.4 billion calories whilst doing so.

The findings reveal that the UK remains a house-proud nation. Seven in 10 people will embark on a spring clean this season (a total of 35.6 million) and will each spend on average 11 hours doing so, longer than the typical working day.

The research also investigated how much energy people will burn off through their intensive tidy-up, totting up to an average of almost 660 calories per spring clean.  Most energy will be burnt on vacuum cleaning – householders will spend an average of 42 minutes hoovering, shedding 136 calories in the process.  

Top five: How people will be using their spring cleaning energy

Household Task

Average Time Spent

Total Calories Burned

Hoovering

42 minutes

136

Scrubbing the oven

34 minutes

108

Polish and cloth

35 minutes

111

Mopping

22 minutes

71

Washing clothes

61 minutes

69

 

The research was conducted by British Gas as more people are benefitting from using smart meters to monitor and be smarter with their energy use. Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters. Customers are given a smart energy monitor that shows how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence. Meter reads are submitted automatically to British Gas, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings.

Whilst spring cleans are helping householders to trim their waistlines, British Gas has compiled a selection of top tips to help people drop the pounds from their bills by reducing their energy consumption during spring cleans.  

Sarah Scrivener, a Smart Energy Expert at British Gas, advises:

  1. Ditch the tumble dryer: Not only does it take up 24 minutes of our time, it’s the most energy consuming item in our spring cleaning routine. Drying your clothes on the line can save up to £70 per year
  2. Clean out your oven: Cleaning and scrubbing your oven helps reduce your energy bills by keeping it running efficiently and, what’s more, you can burn 108 calories by doing so
  3. Get out the duster: As well as burning 55 calories, a simple job like dusting your home can help to save money on your energy bills as accumulations of dust on appliances can reduce their efficiency
  4. Defrost your freezer: It might add to your list of chores this spring, but your freezer has to work even harder if it is clogged up with ice – it will also help you open those icy drawers!
  5. Clean out the hoover: Most people put it off, but cleaning out the inside of your vacuum cleaner will help it to work better, reducing the time it needs to be in use and saving money on your bills at the same time

 

Sarah Scrivener also commented: “The annual spring clean is a British tradition and our findings show that we well and truly live up to our reputation of being a house proud nation. Alongside our daily cleaning routines, it can help to keep an eye on how you’re using your energy in your big spring clean this year.

“Not only will our energy saving tips help you stay on top of your usage, but you’ll also burn more calories. If you have smart meters, you can check your smart energy monitor which shows you how much energy is being used in near real-time, in pounds and pence.”

Research has also found that there is no longer a gender difference when it comes to tackling the cleaning, with men and women both opting to spring clean their home (66 per cent men and 73 per cent women).

When it comes to the regions, the cleanest city is Norwich. Its residents spend as much as 15 hours on the yearly spring clean, while householders in Oxford spend just short of 6 hours.

Cities spending the most time cleaning (hours)

 

Cities spending the least time cleaning (hours)

Norwich

15.13

 

Oxford

5.68

Cardiff

13.53

 

Birmingham

7.22

Southampton

13.37

 

York

7.60

Glasgow

13.02

 

Nottingham

7.90

Bristol

12.96

 

Leicester

7.92

 

For more information on smart meters and energy saving tips, visit: www.britishgas.co.uk

Notes to editors

  • Research conducted on a sample of 2,000 UK adults by Atomik Research in February 2016.
  • Average power usage per appliance was calculated using http://energyusecalculator.com
  • Average cost of spring clean calculated using online energy calculator http://www.sust-it.net/ divided by number of UK adults
  • UK population estimate taken from 2014 ONS figures here (actual number is 29,018,185.86).
  • Total number of calories burnt calculated by multiplying the total number of UK adults by average number of calories burnt per spring clean (actual number is 33,549,095,582).
  • Calories burnt per household activity calculated by using Kcal per hour from http://calorielab.com
  • Average calories burnt in 10k run calculated based on weight of 140lbs with 10k taking 50mins to complete using http://www.runnersworld.com/fitness-calculators/calories-burned-calculator

 

About British Gas

British Gas is Britain’s leading energy and home services provider, serving around 11 million homes – 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 home services expertise in the country. Find out more at www.britishgas.co.uk.

 

About Smart Meters

Smart meters replace existing standard gas and electricity meters and will be introduced in homes and businesses as standard by 2020.They come with a smart energy monitor that displays how much gas and electricity is being used, and its cost in pounds and pence, in near-real time. That information is shared with energy suppliers automatically, putting an end to estimated bills and meter readings. The information from smart meters gives customers greater understanding of how they’re using their energy.

For more information contact:

Jennifer Plews
PR manager
01784 878704
jennifer.plews@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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