HC 562 The effect on energy usage of extending BST

Memorandum submitted by Saga Group (BST 07)


Results from a recent Saga Populus poll have shown that over two thirds of over 50s are against the clocks turning back in the autumn. The effect of the clocks changing causes many problems for older citizens including isolation, disruption to routine, and depression. Also, 39% of those polled found their energy bills rose as a result of the clocks going back.


1.1 Saga has built its highly successful British business on niche marketing to the over 50s – our customer base numbers 2.6 million. Our robust and highly popular brand is based on trust, quality, dependability and value for older people. We focus on understanding and designing bespoke services to meet the changing needs and demands of our target market of people aged 50+ in the UK, a demographic group comprising about half the electorate and forecast to grow from 20m to 25m people by 2015.

1.2 We routinely survey our membership to gauge the issues that are close to their heart. Our poll findings help to shape business direction as well as educate key decision and policy makers on the issues that affect this growing and influential age demographic.

Poll findings show opposition to darker evenings in current system

2.1 Research conducted by a Saga Populus Poll in 2009 of 17,065 people aged 50 and over showed that two thirds (63%) of over 50s support a switch to European time. Another recent poll by Saga motor insurance in 2010 found that 40% of the 13,000 polled say they are forced to change their routine as a result of the clocks going back in the autumn. As more people are forced to stay inside in winter, energy bills inevitably rise.

2.3 These findings are compounded by longer term reactions to the prolonged winter and dark nights. Two thirds of people over 50 find their feelings change in winter with almost half (41%) feeling more depressed and a quarter (24%) feel grumpier. Interestingly, it is the younger over 50s who feel the effects of Winter more, with two thirds of people aged 50-54 saying their feelings change, compared to under half of those aged 75 and over.

2.3 We welcome the Daylight Saving Bill proposed by Rebecca Harris MP which seeks to investigate the effects of advancing time by one hour for all or part of the year.

October 2010

Fig. 1 Research conducted by a Saga Populus Poll of 17,065 people aged 50 and over between 13th and 20th November 2009

Fig. 2 Research conducted by a Saga Populus Poll of 12,943 people aged 50+ between the 10th and 17thSeptember 2010