By 2020, most households will have to cut their electricity use by 25 per cent, according to a report by the energy efficiency organisation Energiewende.
But even the largest households can struggle to keep up with this challenge.
The report’s authors say a combination of the global financial crisis and the UK’s election of a climate change-denying prime minister have made this more difficult.
“The challenge is even greater in some of the more affluent areas where electricity generation and consumption is lower than it is in the cities,” said Matthias Stöhrmann, chief executive of Energiwende.
“These are the areas where you can be the largest consumer and still be the most efficient.”
Read moreA number of measures have been proposed to tackle this, including new, renewable-friendly electricity tariffs and the use of smart meters, which record energy usage.
But the report says most consumers still do not have enough flexibility to adapt.
In the UK, the report notes, consumers have been told to cut electricity use at their own risk.
“The Government has already announced that electricity prices will go up by as much as 30 per cent from April 2021,” it said.
But in the US, consumers who cut their energy use by more than 15 per cent will be penalised by higher bills and higher electricity bills, the Energies said.
“This has led to widespread scepticism of the Government’s claims that the rate of energy efficiency will be growing,” the report said.
It also said consumers should focus on reducing their energy bills as well as their household costs.
“[The Government] is making it harder for people to cut down their energy consumption,” said Stöhrer.
Read about the UK energy transition.