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How to cut the energy excess at Christmas

Published on 22 December 2010 03:30 PM

Age UK and E.ON highlight the cost of energy to help people in later life be more energy efficient

10 million turkeys cooking, 8 million Christmas trees twinkling and millions of televisions watching comedy re-runs and DVDs on Christmas day. The festive season is a time for being at home and indulging, but at a time when money is tight, Age UK and E.ON are offering some simple tips to help people in later life control energy costs over the holidays.

Easy tips to help you save energy this Christmas Day:

  • Buy a turkey crown rather than the whole turkey - this will cut down on cooking time and save you money
  • Twinkling Christmas lights add sparkle to your home but use a timer to make sure they don't waste energy when you're not around. If you need to replace fairy lights, go for LED ones to save electricity.
  • Cook your vegetables in the microwave - it's quicker, locks in the nutritional value, retains colour and costs than cooking them on the hob
  • Reheat your Christmas pudding in single portions in the microwave - it's quicker and cheaper than re-steaming.
  • Buy rechargeable batteries for children's toys and electrical gadgets.
  • Don't leave electrical goods on stand-by, switch them all off at the wall to save energy.
  • Switch to energy efficient light bulbs.

Michelle Mitchell, Charity Director at Age UK, said: "Age UK and E.ON are working together to help people in later life become more energy aware, especially in cold winters like the one we're in the middle of. If people know the true cost of energy they can take steps to become as energy efficient as possible which can help to lower bills."

Suzanne Doxey, Community Relations Manager at E.ON, said: "Getting energy fit in your home is all about the small behavioural changes which can help save energy and save money on your bills, without scrimping on comfort. Simple changes can make a big difference, and our Christmas Energy Menu and ‘100 Ways to Save' leaflets are full of handy tips on how to get you started this festive season."

A recent survey conducted by Age UK and E.ON1 showed that few people know the cost of running basic household appliances, but what about the costs of those festive activities?

Christmas costs - did you know…?

  • The average turkey in the UK weighs 5.5kg (12lb)[i] which would take approximately 3 hours to cook. In a gas oven this would cost 54p in an electric oven this would cost 99p.
  • One string of 100 LED Christmas lights costs 2p per day[ii], and uses up to 90% less electricity than conventional bulbs.
  • A plasma TV costs 29p to run for 6 hours[iii]
  • A load in the Dishwasher costs 14p per load
  • Ten light bulbs (60W traditional) cost 90p per 12 hours [iv]
  • Ten light bulbs (11W energy saving) cost 18p per 12 hours[v]
  • Boiling a kettle costs just 2p so you don't need to scrimp on the warming cups of tea in winter
  • If you do decide to buy a whole turkey, save the leftovers for soups, curries and salads after Christmas

For more information or to request a copy of the leaflet or energy menu call Age UK Advice free on 0800 169 87 87 for information and advice on energy efficiency.

For more energy saving advice and information on getting energy fit, visit: link in new window or link in new window



For more information, photos, case studies or to speak to E.ON's Energy Fitness Instructor, please contact Ashley Cox at Age UK on 020 8765 7513, email or Rebecca Bieniaszewska at E.ON on 024 7618 3202, email

Notes to Editor

1. To highlight how being energy efficient can reduce bills and save money, Age UK and E.ON polled over 1,000 adults aged 18+ to see how much they think it costs to do basic household tasks. The poll, carried out by ICM Research, showed that across all age groups the majority over-estimate the costs of most everyday household activities:

  • 61% of people polled estimated the cost of vacuuming for 30 minutes as 25p or more (actually 8p)
  • 61% of people polled estimated the cost of ironing for 30 minutes as 25p or more (actually 15p)
  • 71% of people polled estimated the cost of running a hot bath as 25p or more (actually 10p)
  • 58% of people polled estimated the cost of watching plasma TV for 4 hours as 50p or more (actually 19p)

This survey was conducted on behalf of Age UK and E.ON. ICM interviewed a random sample of 1,011 adults aged 18+ by telephone between July 30th and August 1st 2010. Interviews were conducted across Great Britain and the results have been weighted to the profile of all adults. Actual energy costs were taken from E.ON's Energy Menu. ICM is a member of the British Polling Council and abides by its rules. Further information at  

The actual energy costs of everyday household activities are (from E.ON Energy Menu):



Actual cost

Running a hot bath


Vacuuming for 30 minutes


Ironing for 30 minutes


Boiling a kettle


Watching plasma TV for 4 hours



About EnergyRight

EnergyRight is a long-running community support programme delivered jointly by Age UK and E.ON, aimed at helping older people get energy fit and save money on their energy bills, without scrimping on comfort. Previous successful campaigns have included electric blanket testing and home energy checks.

About Age UK

Age UK is the new force combining Age Concern and Help the Aged. The Age UK family includes Age Scotland, Age Cymru and Age NI.

Age UK is inspired by the belief that it can improve the lives of people in later life. It celebrates ageing and believes it presents unprecedented opportunities and challenges at home and abroad.

Age UK will challenge ageist prejudice in society, provide services that address market failures and support the public and private sectors to design age-friendly products and services. It will support people to remain in their own homes through campaigning and practical services and its Information and Advice service will offer millions of people support on a range of issues from claiming benefits to staying fit and healthy.

Age UK will fund biomedical research that helps tackle the ill health and poor quality of life that are too common as people age. Working with over 350 partners across the country,

Age UK helps influence local decisions and delivers the most appropriate services. Its network of over 500 shops will act as a focal point for the local community, providing information and help with local services.

Age UK works across the globe as well as in the UK, with its international partner, Help Age International, championing older people's rights and needs and as an active member of the DEC.

Age UK Energy Services

Age UK EnergyReward is a tailor made gas and electricity package provided by E.ON.

Age UK Energy is a trading name of Age UK Enterprises Limited (a trading company of Age UK, which donates profits to that charity). Registered in England and Wales No. 3156159. Registered Office: Astral House, 1268 London Road, London SW16 4ER.

E.ON Energy Limited. Registered office: Westwood Way, Westwood Business Park, Coventry CV4 8LG, registered in England and Wales No. 3407430.

Age UK is a charitable company limited by guarantee and registered in England. Age UK Group comprises of the Age UK Charity and its group of companies. Registered charity number 1128267 and registered company number 6825798. Registered address: 207-221 Pentonville Road, London N1 NUZ.

Age UK Group has worked closely with E.ON and has developed Age UK Energy/Reward, a great range of benefits, special offers, discounts and services which are all designed to help you save money on your energy.

This great energy deal includes:

  • £100 reward off your energy bill when you've been a customer for 12 month - that's a £50 credit to each of your electricity and gas bills*
  • Guaranteed cold weather payment of £10 plus an extra payment for every day between December and February that the temperature falls below freezing**.
  • Save up to 8% on your bills when you take electricity as well as gas and pay for both by fixed monthly direct debit***
  • Free welcome pack including a hypothermia thermometer, your choice of free gift****, top energy saving tips and much more

Doing more to help you save.

As a responsible energy supplier, E.ON is dedicated to helping their customers use energy more efficiently. That's why they're launching a free service to make it easier for you to save energy and money. Look out for it online soon.

*Terms and conditions apply. Offer applies when you switch electricity and/or gas to Age UK EnergyReward (our standard tariff) by 19th November 2010. Reward is one-off payment credited to your energy account after 12 months continuous supply on Age UK EnergyReward. Offer not available to existing Dual Fuel customers or those with prepayment and restricted hours tariff meters.

**The £10 guaranteed cold weather payment from E.ON is only applicable to Single Gas and Dual Fuel customers. It will be credited as a rebate in March and will be shown on the following bill. As a gas customer, you may also receive a payment based on the number of days the temperature falls below freezing between December and February. The temperature is taken from the Pickering Weather Station in Yorkshire, one of the coldest places in the UK.

*** Discounts are not payable on final bills

****Whilst stocks last. If product is unavailable, alternatives will be offered

*****Not all Age UK offices offer all Age UK products. Please check (by telephoning your local office) before

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Last updated: Oct 06 2017

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