Electricity use down in UK homes but Germany is doing far better.

FT: “Energy prices may be rising in the UK, but there is a small light on the horizon as people use nearly a third less electricity to light their homes than they did 16 years ago.”
“The improvement is because of the phasing out of inefficient incandescent lightbulbs and their replacing them with energy-efficient alternatives. Chief among them is the compact fluorescent bulb, which uses 80 per cent less electricity than the older kind but produces the same amount of light.
The change is one of the reasons why peak electricity demand has been falling in the UK: average domestic electricity consumption dropped 5 per cent between 2008 and 2012, according to government statistics.
Brenda Boardman, emeritus fellow at the University of Oxford’s Environmental Change Institute, says that thanks to more efficient bulbs, the average amount of electricity needed annually to light a UK home fell from 720 kilowatt-hours in 1997 to less than 500 kWh last year, a drop of more than 30 per cent.
That has had a big impact on broader household energy consumption, since lighting makes up a quarter of total peak residential electricity demand.
Lower consumption also means lower bills. The Energy Saving Trust says the UK could save as much as £1.4bn on electricity bills every year if households phased out their remaining filament bulbs.
Those savings could be even greater if people switch to light-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, which have long been used in car brakelights and the infrared beams of television remote controls but are now so powerful they can light a whole room.
….Yet even with more efficient lightbulbs, electricity use is much higher in the UK than elsewhere in Europe. European Commission data show UK consumption of electricity, both for lighting and appliances, was 3,165 kWh per household in 2010 – 13 per cent more than the European average.
The gulf is most striking when Britain is compared with Germany. UK households consume 36 per cent more electricity than German ones. The per unit price of electricity is 50 per cent higher in Germany but, because consumption is lower, the average German bill is only about 10 per cent higher than the UK bill.
….National Grid estimates that electricity demand for lighting could halve by 2020 – from about 12.5 terawatt hours currently to 6 TWh – even as the number of bulbs increases. Much of that drop will be driven by the switchover to high-quality and low-cost LED bulbs, it says.”