Charged-up Britain - Over a quarter of people bicker with their loved ones about their gadget overcharging habits


  • Gadget loving nation owns over 606 million gadgets
  • Over 3.2 million cheeky chaps admit to charging gadgets in the pub

The UK is a nation of ‘gadget buffs' owning a staggering 606 million1 gadgets. But over half (54%) of people are overcharging their technology, according to new research2 from E.ON.

The power of love: The research shows our tendency to remain plugged-in is causing heated arguments, with over a quarter (28%) of people bickering with their loved ones about their overcharging habits.

Cheeky chargers: Not content with charging in the home, gadget guzzlers are plugging in whilst out and about too. Over 3.2 million3 men enjoy a ‘power pint' by charging their smartphone at the pub. And three in 10 admit to plugging in while at friends' houses in fear of running out of juice while on the move.

The blame game: Over half (58%) of parents admit to blaming their kids for careless overcharging.

To help people charge their gadgets efficiently, whilst also getting the most from their tech, E.ON has teamed up with gadgets expert, Jason Bradbury, to offer tips and advice to help get the most of everyone's favourite gadgets.

Jason Bradbury, gadgets expert, said: "It's astonishing that over half of people are overcharging their gadgets - there is clearly a lot of confusion about what's good for technology.

"Overcharging a gadget can often do more harm than good; it can reduce the lifespan of batteries. So it's important to check the optimum charging time for each individual gadget to make sure you keep it working well and ensure you don't use more energy than you need to."

Overcharged gadgets:

According to the research, the gadgets most often left overcharging are:

  • 1. Mobile phones (64%)
  • 2. Laptops (56%)
  • 3. iPads or tablets (19%)
  • 4. Electric toothbrushes (18%)
  • 5. iPods or MP3 players (14%)

Reasons for overcharging:

The main reasons for leaving gadgets plugged in are:

  • 1. Forgetting gadgets are on charge (49%)
  • 2. Because it's easier than switching gadgets off properly (20%)
  • 3. Being worried about running out of battery when out and about (14%)
  • 4. Thinking it helps to keep gadgets working properly (13%)
  • 5. Assuming it won't cost much (13%)

The research exposes 18-34 year olds as the biggest perpetrators with over two thirds confessing to overcharging. The average time gadgets are left overcharging is nearly three hours - with men the worst offenders.

Beverley Maguire, energy efficiency expert at E.ON, said: "Leaving gadgets on charge is causing heated arguments in households across Britain. The biggest problem is people plugging their mobile phones in to charge and forgetting all about them.

"There are simple steps we can all take to ensure we aren't needlessly wasting energy. For example, mobile phones only take between one to two hours to charge, so if you don't want to keep checking on its progress, just set your alarm for two hours later so you'll know when it's fully charged.

"We offer lots of tips to help people save energy at eonenergy.com."


Notes to editors:

1.      Based on ONS figure of 44.9 million UK adults in 2011 x average number of gadgets (13.5) = 606.15 million;

2.      Research carried out amongst 1,997 UK adults by http://www.visioncritical.com/ in February 2013;

3.      15% of total UK male adults (21,503,900) England and Wales (source: Office for National Statistics, 2011 census) = 3,225,585.

  • E.ON is one of the UK's leading power and gas companies - generating electricity, retailing power and gas, developing gas storage and undertaking gas and oil exploration and production. It is part of the E.ON group, one of the world's largest investor-owned power and gas companies. E.ON employs around 12,000 people in the UK and more than 79,000 worldwide;
  • In the UK, E.ON supplies power and gas to around five million domestic, small and medium-sized enterprise and industrial customers - meaning the company has to buy approximately 122.7 billion kWh of power and gas each year to meet their needs. E.ON also offers innovative energy services and technologies tailored to meet its customers' needs, and is helping customers become energy efficient by encouraging them to insulate their homes, moderate their energy usage and even generate their own power;
  • E.ON's Reset Review continues to identify and discuss changes with customers through its 28,000-strong YourSay panel, its independent Customer Council comprising business leader Allan Leighton, ex-MP and Select Committee chair Paddy Tipping and E.ON Customer Service Advisor Joanne Sheridan, its 1,000-strong MySay employee panel and through discussions with consumer advocacy groups such as Which? and Consumer Focus. Changes made to date include: helping customers control their bills: fair prices, simple products, transparent profits, a fairer way of paying: providing stability to help households budget, improving customer service: consistency, easier contact, and the confidence to complain;
  • E.ON has topped several categories - including best for overall customer satisfaction, best value for money and best reward scheme - to be voted Britain's favourite energy supplier 2012 in the uSwitch.com Customer Satisfaction Awards. The independent report and awards are published annually and are based on a YouGov poll of over 5,000 energy customers;
  • E.ON's generation portfolio includes world-class gas-, coal- and oil-fired power stations. E.ON is a market leader in combined heat and power (CHP), and is one of the UK's leading green generators with 22 wind farms and the UK's first wave power generator, with another 1,500MW of renewable capacity under development;
  • One of the many ways E.ON leads the energy industry is through its commitment to market liquidity and transparency as evidenced by its actions on the day-ahead UK power markets including the N2EX auction. E.ON was the first company to sign a gross-bidding agreement with N2EX and leads the market with a volume equivalent to some 60% of E.ON UK's generation activity being traded so far this year.

For more information contact:

Jag Kahlon at E.ON on 02476 181 308 or [email protected]