How Energy-Aware Are You?

Between cutting back on fuel bills, using electricity more efficiently and reducing our carbon footprint it seems that everyone’s taking energy very seriously these days.

So, how about you? Are you a bit of an energy champion, doing your bit wherever you can – or does the whole thing leave you feeling a little bit confused? Do you know all there is to know about saving energy around the home, or are you still trying to work out what you can do to help?

If you’ve ever wondered how energy-aware you are, then here’s our quick quiz to help you find out. It’s ideal to do yourself, or you can try it with the rest of the family and discover who is the real energy expert in your household. The answers are at the bottom – good luck and have fun!

1. We all know that switching appliances off rather than leaving them on standby saves energy – but how much?

  • a) £16 per household.
  • b) £65 per household.
  • c) £165 per household.

2. Which of the following abbreviations is a kind of solar cell?

  • a) PV
  • b) PVC
  • c) CHP

3. Britain enjoys a large share of Europe’s wind energy – but how large?

  • a) 14 per cent
  • b) 40 per cent
  • c) 64 per cent

4. How much CO2 can A+ or A++ fridge freezers cut from your carbon footprint?

  • a) 14 kg
  • b) 40 kg
  • c)140 kg

5.Talking of CO2, how much of the UK’s total emissions are our homes responsible for?

  • a) Around 5%
  • b) Just over 15%
  • c) Nearly 30%

6. 270mm is an important measurement is you want to save energy, but is it:

  • a) The minimum height for a wind turbine?
  • b) How deep loft insulation should be?
  • c) The height of tree you should plant for a carbon offset.

7. Growing your own vegetables is great fun – but do you know how much CO2 it can save ?

  • a) 100kg
  • b) 10kg
  • c) 1kg

8. Just how much energy do energy saving bulbs save, compared with ordinary ones?

  • a) 30%
  • b) 50%
  • c) 80%

9. Oil and coal are called “fossil fuels” because:

  • a) They have to be dug up, like fossils.
  • b) They were made millions of years ago and so contain ancient carbon.
  • c) They’re just so old fashioned!

10. How much of the UK’s total annual energy is used for transport?

  • a) One-tenth
  • b) A fifth
  • c) A third

11. Normal UK electrical mains voltage is:

  • a) 23V
  • b) 230V
  • c) 2,300V

12. Finally, which of the following do you do (and no fibbing!)

  • a) Walk or cycle to work/school?
  • b) Shower, rather than take a bath?
  • c) Use energy saving bulbs as much as you can?
  • d) Avoid leaving things on standby?
  • e) Turn lights off if you’re leaving a room for more a few minutes?
  • f) Recycle glass, cans or paper?
  • g) Have any low energy, wind-up or solar powered toy or gadget?


1. b – £65. According to the Energy Saving Trust, standby accounts for around 10% of the average UK household’s electricity usage.

2. a – PV, standing for “photo-voltaic” (and give yourself a bonus point if you knew that!) PVC is a type of plastic and CHP stands for “combined-heat-and-power”.

3. b – the UK has access to 40% of Europe’s total wind energy.

4. c – A+ or A++ fridge freezers could slash 140 kg off the average household’s carbon footprint and save up to £35 a year, always assuming you don’t already have them, of course – and if you do, score a bonus point.

5. c – it’s nearly 30%; according to government estimates, our homes are responsible for 28% of the UK’s yearly total emissions!

6. b – 270mm is how deep loft insulation should be; it would be a very small tree, and a wind turbine that size would probably fit under your bed!

7. a – amazingly scientists say that growing your own fruit and vegetables for just three months of the year can cut up to a whopping 100kg off your carbon footprint.

8. c – 80%; energy saving bulbs use only around 20% of the electricity used by ordinary ones to produce the same level of light – although the amount of light they give out does reduce as they get older.

9. b – they are called fossil fuels because they were made millions of years ago and contain ancient carbon, although you could argue that (a) and (c) are mostly true too! The word fossil comes from the Latin for “dug up”.

10. c – a third of all the energy used in the UK each year goes on transport.

11. b – 230V.

12 – Give yourself a point for each one.

So, how did you do?

  • 20 points – Top-rated performance!
  • 15 to 19 points – Bouncing with energy!
  • 6 to 14 points – Eagerly aware!
  • 0 to 5 points – Still in the dark!