UK domestic energy consumption increased by 18 per cent between 1970 and 2009

UK domestic energy consumption increased from 37 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 1970 to 44 million tonnes of oil equivalent in 2009, according to the latest chapter of Social Trends, published today by ONS.

Key facts of the Chapter are:

  • More than half of domestic energy consumption in the UK was used for space heating in each year between 1970 and 2008.
  • In 2008, 5.6 per cent of all electricity consumption in the UK was generated from renewable resources, a considerable increase compared to 1990, when it was 1.7 per cent. However, the 2008 proportion was low when compared with the EU average of 16.7 per cent.
  • Recycling, composting or reuse of household waste has increased considerably in England from less than 1 per cent in 1983/84 to 40 per cent in 2009/10.
  • UK emissions of the basket of greenhouse gases were estimated to have fallen by over 27 per cent between 1990 and 2009.
  • In 2010 in the UK, the number of days of moderate or higher air pollution were at their lowest level since 1987 in rural areas (22 days) and their lowest level in urban areas since records began in 1993 (8 days).
  • In 2008, UK households paid environmental taxes of £20.9 billion, over half of the total collected in the UK, with the rest being paid by industry.

The chapter also highlights other issues related to the environment such as emissions, pollution, environmental taxes, household waste recycling and attitudes to the environment.

In England in 2009 the environment was thought to be the third most important issue that adults felt that the government should address after the economy and unemployment. In 2010 in England about a third of adults reported that they were environmentally friendly in most or everything they did. In 2011 85 per cent of adults thought that being proud of their local environment was important.

To view the full chapter, click here:

About the ONS
The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is the executive office of the UK Statistics Authority, a non-ministerial department which reports directly to Parliament. ONS is the UK Government's single largest statistical producer.

Follow the Office for National Statistic on and

The Environmental Accounts Statistical Bulletin, which provides data on the environmental impact of UK economic activity and the use of the environment by the economy, was published on 29 June 2011 and can be found at:

Share this