Seven in ten (68%) British consumers remains indifferent to the information provided by a smart meter if they had one installed, according to a new research released by PassivSystems.

The previous government had a mandate to put a smart meter in every home by 2020 and the last figures issued for the cost of this roll-out was GBP9bn.

The Department for Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has estimated that smart meters will be able to reduce energy usage by 2 to 3% and bills by GBP28 a year. But the online survey, conducted by YouGov on behalf of PassivSystems, suggests that people are yet to be convinced about the benefit of smart meters.

The research also revealed that 86% of Brits have fallen into a variety of bad energy habits, including forgetting to turn the heating off overnight and leaving the hot water on whilst on holiday. This energy mismanagement means that British households could be wasting an average of GBP214.92 every year.

PassivSystems commissioned the research to coincide with the launch of its home energy management product PassivEnergy, which claims to reduce energy use in homes by up to 18% by managing a household’s energy.

With the Office for National Statistics projecting 26.2 million homes in the UK by 2011 and the average household energy bill currently GBP1,194, the money wasted on energy mismanagement could be GBP214.92 for an average household with no basic heating controls and GBP5.6bn nationally.

Current heating systems would also appear to be over complex, with young people the least likely to know exactly how to program their heating. More than two-thirds of 18 – 24 year olds were unable to do so (67%), compared to around half (47%) overall, according to PassivSystems.

People also underestimated the impact that household energy use has on overall UK carbon emissions, with just 9% believing emissions from private property were one of the three most significant contributors. According to the report, UK households are in fact responsible for 29% of all UK carbon emissions.