With Brits Facing Soaring Energy Costs, Here’s One Tea-riffic Hack That Can Help With the Cost of Living

October 14, 2022

Tea-loving Brits drink around 100 million cuppas a day but eight in 10 admit to overfilling the kettle. That’s why the tea experts at the UK Tea and Infusions Association (UKTIA) are encouraging the nation to be ‘smart boilers’. Named Smart Boil, the UKTIA is trying to encourage all tea-lovers to only boil the amount of water needed for a brew, once, saving on energy costs as well as being kind to the planet.

According to the very latest energy calculations by sustainability experts[1] commissioned by the UKTIA, a whopping 2,649,792 kWh of electricity is wasted each day, creating 618 tCO2e greenhouse gas emissions just to boil the extra water. Overfilling the kettle also adds an eye-watering £900,900 a day overall to the nation’s energy bill.

Dr Sharon Hall, head of the UK Tea and Infusions Association says: “The Smart Boil campaign returns for another year and it’s not a moment too soon. With rapidly rising energy costs, for consumers and businesses alike, every bit we can save on our electricity bills helps us deal better with the cost of living crisis.

“The UK is a tea drinking nation and everyone loves their tea breaks, so it really can make a difference to boil only what you need. Using your mug to measure out the water for one or two cuppas is easy to do, yet our survey found that only a third of people were doing this routinely.”

Out of 1,000 UK tea drinkers quizzed in the research poll for the UKTIA[2], fewer than 1 in 5 boiled the recommended amount of water when making a single mug of tea, with almost half boiling three or more times the water they need. In addition, in the same research study, 70% left it to cool down and boiled it again for the next cuppa, and a further one in 10 chucked the water down the sink.

Dr Sharon Hall explains further: “Following the Smart Boil guidelines to fill the kettle with only the water you need is good for the planet as well as your budget. The 2.6 million kWh of electricity saved each day would be enough to provide electricity to 112 average homes for a year or is equivalent to 1.5 million miles of car journeys. That’s why Smart Boil is a win win for everyone.”


Staying warm

As a nation we all love tea for many different reasons. However, there is a new common habit that many of us are turning to when it is cold.

Dr Sharon Hall explains: “Eight in 10 Brits told us they’re brewing a cuppa just to stay warm, revealing the true extent of the cost-of-living crisis. People aged 18-29 years were more likely to do this (85%) while 71% of those over sixty are also turning to a brew to keep warm.”

Last word

In summary, Dr Sharon Hall notes: “While two thirds of adults admit to overfilling the kettle when making hot drinks, 85% agreed that boiling only the water you need can save on energy costs.

“Boiling just what you need is also good for the flavour of tea which develops best when made with freshly boiled water. The lack of oxygen bubbles in re-boiled water can give tea a flat taste. Just over half (53%) of people in our survey were aware of this fact.”

Dr Sharon Hall adds: “So next time you make a brew, use your mug to measure out just the water you need for the number of cuppas you are making and ‘smart boil’.”

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