In its ongoing commitment to raise awareness about air pollution, E.ON has launched its Air Care Research, featuring the views of more than 4,000 people across the country, which found almost two thirds (62%) of people say they miss how clear the air was during the first national lockdown.
Between March and June, air pollution reports gave us a glimpse of life with less air pollution, as nitrogen oxide levels in some cities fell by around 60% due to less traffic on the roads.
As we make our way through a second lockdown in England that should see traffic reduce drastically for a second time this year, nearly nine in ten (86%) stated air pollution is an issue the British public needs to know more about and three-quarters (72%) believe it’s as important to include air quality information as it is the pollen count in weather forecasts.
In response to E.ON’s ‘Air Care Research’, the energy and solutions provider, working with weather data provider DTN, has launched Change the Weather – a new service to help national and regional media include air quality information in their weather forecasts. Titles including the London Evening Standard, the I and the Daily Record have already made the change.
Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK, said: “No level of air pollution should ever be deemed safe. There are many things we can all do to help reduce our impact on the environment and the air we breathe. From driving less, or driving electric, and making our homes more energy efficient, to powering our homes with renewable electricity.
“Making air quality information more accessible through our Change the Weather service is an important step in the right direction and will help ensure this critical topic stays front of mind as we navigate our daily lives.“
Seven months on from the start of that first national lockdown, more than half of those questioned (57%) say they care more about air quality than ever before, and nearly seven in ten (68%) would do more to help the environment if they had daily reminders on the quality of the air they breathe. Doing more could translate into simple steps respondents said they would take, such as turning off lights at home (34%), using their car less (27%) and buying fewer things manufactured using fossil fuels (25%).
Daily air pollution forecasts will be welcomed by many British consumers, as 43% said they’d be more likely to watch a news segment or read a newspaper if it included regular updates on air pollution levels, over ones that didn’t.
As part of its pledge to help clear the air by giving people better access to information on air pollution, E.ON has teamed up with meteorologist, author and broadcaster Clare Nasir to help clear the air around air pollution and help the nation better understand what the Air Quality Index means, as well as sharing information to help inspire small changes that can make a big impact.
Clare said: “E.ON’s Change the Weather service is close to my heart for many reasons. As a meteorologist and clean air campaigner for the last 20 years I know first-hand that air pollution is a public health issue that affects us all, from babies to the fittest adults as well the elderly and vulnerable.”
E.ON’s Air Care Research revealed a quarter of respondents (25%) believe air pollution has had a direct impact on their own or their family’s health. This subject is close to Clare Nasir’s heart after her daughter, Sienna, developed a persistent cough as a baby and needed to use an asthma inhaler most days as a toddler just to keep her airways open and ease the wheezing and coughing whenever they went outdoors and were exposed to high levels of air pollution.
Clare continues: “As a parent, I want my daughter growing up in a world where the air is clean. Raising awareness about air pollution and sharing information on how each of us can help reduce the levels of air pollution is vital. I completely support E.ON’s commitment to helping people better understand air pollution, allowing us to make informed choices and put pollution on the map for the first time in nearly a decade.”
The research also shows almost three quarters (73%) of the nation favours businesses and organisations which are doing good for the environment, giving even more reason for businesses to implement initiatives that support a cleaner air environment.
E.ON is committed to being carbon neutral by 2040 and offers 100% renewable electricity for its 3.4 million customers’ homes as standard. E.ON also offers smart meters, energy efficient boilers and solar and battery technology which can all help people better manage their home energy use, and even generate their own.
For more information about how E.ON is helping to clear the air through smarter, sustainable energy solutions, and to get access to daily air pollution updates, search E.ON Clean Air or visit eonenergy.com/clean-air.