Power-hungry Harborough residents have landed the district the number two spot in a league table tracking the nation’s highest energy users.
Households in the district on average used three times more energy than the lowest consumers in the UK.
The district figure of 35.8 megawatt hours of energy in 2011 is just 0.2 off the highest consumer, Rutland. Seven of the top ten consumers were districts in Leicestershire, and 16 of the top 20 were in the East Midlands.
The lowest consumer in the study, published by the Office for National Statistics, were the Isles of Scilly, where households used just 11.4 megawatt hours of energy on average.
One megawatt is equivalent to one million watts - or 10,000 100-watt lightbulbs - used continuously over an hour.
The study shows that household energy consumption dropped by 24.7 per cent between 2005 and 2011. But it offers few theories as to why energyusage remains so high in this part of the country.
Gavin Fletcher is project manager for Sustainable Harborough Challenge, a £1m project to make the town more environmentally-friendly. He said: “Maybe it’s something to do with our rural location but it’s difficult to know. We really hope that our project will have a big impact on this sort of headline figurebut also reduce energy bills for individual families and how them how they can make a difference.”
Darren Woodiwiss of Transition Town Market Harborough said the figures show there is much to be done to improve energy efficiency.
Visit www.ruralcc.org.uk/sustainable-harborough-challenge.html or www.transitionharborough.org.uk for more information about the Sustainable Harborough Challenge.