What five things can't the UK live without?

From a snow-blown Newcastle to a rainy London, we travelled across the UK to find out the five things that you couldn’t live without.

Although food, phones, people, computers and appliances predictably topped the list, it was when we got into the details that things became really interesting.

So what topped the list?
The race for number one caught us all by surprise. Food topped the list – but only just. It pipped mobile phones by 1%, showing our need to connect and communicate is right up there with the very basics of survival.

The results also challenged a few stereotypes. You might have thought that the answer of ‘people’ would poll lowest in fast-paced London, but that honour goes to the north-west and south-west of England. ‘People’ proved the most popular answer in the east of England.

Surprising results...
Our findings also threw up some odd results. Perhaps the most surprising was citizens from the Southeast revealing that appliances are more important to life than people.

The phone’s triumph over the computer is also clearly marked, but only up to a certain age. For those aged over 55, the phone drops down to number seven on the list.

This age category is also the first to recognise energy as one of life’s essentials. It scores highest with respondents, at number nine. In every other age group it doesn’t even make the top ten. Which throws up another interesting observation.

Tangible versus intangible
People seem to find it harder to value what they can’t see. Mobile phones are essential, but the internet – an intangible but essential life tool – comes way down the list.

Many people find it hard to put a value on what they pay for their daily internet service, with 39% in the dark about their home broadband costs.

The same goes for energy, as over a third of those we spoke to overestimated the daily cost of energy. People also overestimated the amount of profit that energy firms made on their bills, with only 3% of people correctly guessing the amount was less than 5%.

So what does this mean for me?

£2.33 - 1 bed flat, £2.65 - 2 bed flat, £2.90 - 2 bed house, £3.32 - 3 bed house, £4.36 4 bed house. We've calculated these prices using our standard dual fuel Direct Debit bill (prices as at 27 February 2015), together with the average of our customer's energy usage in 2014.

We value the things that we can see, touch, and feel – the tangible stuff of life. But when it comes to things that lack physicality or are all around us, we often take them for granted. Which leads us to the most glaring oversight of all – oxygen.

Which was forgotten by virtually everyone.


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