Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.

Domestic energy use rises by 18 per cent

Domestic energy consumption in the UK rose by 18% between 1970 and 2009, the Office for National Statistics (ONS) said today.

The figure rose from 37 million tonnes of oil equivalent to 44 million tonnes in 2009 - with more than half used for heating.

Statisticians attributed the rise to the increased number of households and changes in energy efficiency and "external temperatures".

Authors of the study said that in 2008, 5.6% of all electricity consumption in the UK was generated from renewable resources - an increase compared to 1.7% in 1990.

But the 2008 proportion was dwarfed by the EU average of 16.7%.

UK emissions "of the basket of greenhouse gases" were estimated to have fallen by more than 27% between 1990 and 2009.

Last year 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 (eight days).

The details were released by the ONS as part of its 'Social Trends' research.

Other findings included recycling, composting or reuse of household waste increasing considerably in England from less than 1% in 1983/84 to 40% in 2009/10.

In England, in 2009, the environment was thought to be the third most important issue that adults felt the Government should address after the economy and unemployment.