This week saw National Tea Day on the 21st April. It’s undeniable that for many of us, no matter the how the lockdown has effected us, one comfort has been a good cuppa.  We were sent the results of a study that was carried out by SaveOnEnergy, who sought to find out more about the tea drinking habits of Brits during lockdown.  Could there be a great spike in energy use because of our humble brew?  Is our very British habit increasing CO2 emissions during this strange period of our human history?

According to the study, we’re drinking more tea since the lockdown started, an extra two cups per day and the regions drinking five cups per day is Scotland, Wales and the East of England.  The most tea loving cities are Edinburgh, Leeds, Cardiff and Birmingham.  The study also found that English tea, with milk, comes top of the most preferred tea with 47% of us saying that this is the first choice.

But this comes at a price.  The carbon footprint due to boiling our kettles will increase by over 50% in a year in lockdown – to 591 kgCO2e/Year. This is the equivalent to the amount of CO2e produced by a train from London to Scotland and return!   The study also found that people admit to forgetting they boiled the kettle 2 times/day, increasing the carbon footprint by 57%/Year (to 934 kgCO2e/Year.) This is the equivalent to three train trips from London to Edinburgh!

There are things you can do to save energy when it’s time for tea. Tameside Metropolitan Borough have a good piece of advice, and I would echo it here.

Don’t overfill the kettle! A study conducted a few years ago by the Energy Saving Trust found that 67% of Brits overfill their kettles when filling up for a cup of tea. Save water, save electricity and use what you need.

There are a range of Eco-kettles that use less energy or energy saving urns that you can purchase that are more energy efficient than our humble kettle, but depending on the model kettles are 80% efficient. More-so than microwaves and heating water on the hob!


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