The 'gadget generation': British parents spending over £2 billion a year on gadgets for their kids

  • Typical tech spend - £300 a year per household
  • Children now have an average of four gadgets each
  • E.ON's 'Saving Energy Toolkit' allows parents to monitor how much energy their household is using compared to similar homes

UK parents are spending a combined £2.25 billion a year(1) on technology for their children, according to new research released today by E.ON(2).

The research, which has been conducted to explore gadget use in the home, also found:

  • Gadget generation: Parents estimate they typically spend just under £300 a year (£292.20) per household, with children now owning an average of four gadgets each;
  • Techie tots: Remarkably, parents with children aged under-five are spending even more, splashing out almost £400 a year (£394.90) on gadgets for their techie tots;
  • Teenage trends: 15-17 year olds are the most 'plugged-in', typically owning seven devices each;
  • Older offspring: Perhaps surprisingly, parents buy gadgets for their older offspring too. Parents of males aged 18-plus are spending over £717 a year on gadgets for their sons, while daughters in the same age group have just under £1,000 worth of gadgets bought for them by their parents a year (£992.70).

When it comes to parents, over half (56%) admit they use their children's 'technology hand-me-downs' and unused gadgets. And a third of parents admitted they're not as tech-savvy as their children (32%), with 14% admitting they don't even match up to their techie tots  when it comes to knowing their way around the latest gadgets.

Charging and powering gadgets can be an expensive business so E.ON is encouraging parents to use its Saving Energy Toolkit. The online tool allows customers to monitor how much energy their family is using and keep track of how their energy use stacks up compared to similar homes in their local area. The Toolkit also provides helpful tips on what families can do to reduce the amount of energy they're using.

Sara Cox, Broadcaster and mum of three, said: "Of course you don't want your children to be addicted to their gadgets. But with today's busy lifestyles there can be real benefits for people of all ages when it comes to using technology - in education and learning for example, and also in helping organise day-to-day chores and tracking household budgets.

"Technology definitely plays a role in my family life - from helping the kids with their homework to listening to the latest music - there's always a gadget on the go. As a parent, it's important to make sure that you're aware of how much energy your family is using so you can keep on top of how much you're paying."  

Anthony Ainsworth, Marketing Director at E.ON, said: "Technology is now very much part of everyday family life, our research shows that many parents are keen to make sure their children have the latest devices. But it's important to remember that charging, powering and leaving gadgets switched on can add up to quite an impact on energy bills.

"With the help of our online Saving Energy Toolkit, parents can now monitor how much energy their family is using so they can make sure they're using no more than they need. The tool is easy-to-use so hopefully even parents who consider themselves to be less tech-savvy than their kids will find it's child's play to find out how their household energy use stacks up to similar homes. And if they're still not sure - they can always ask their kids!"

Over 600,000 E.ON customers have already used the Saving Energy Toolkit to find out detailed information about where and when energy is being used in their homes. For more information, visit eonenergy.com.


Notes to editors:

  • 1. Based on average spend of respondents (£292.90) and total number of UK family units (7,739,000 UK parent family units in 2012, ONS). £292.90 x 7,739,000 =2,266,753,100.
  • 2. All data based on research carried out amongst 2,000 UK adults by http://www.visioncritical.com/ in April 2014.

For more information contact:

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

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