The online survey every North East teenager should fill in

IT'S a study of teenagers to which many an exasperated parent in the North East would be happy to contribute.

Georgina Neave

IT'S a study of teenagers to which many an exasperated parent in the North East would be happy to contribute.

Psychologists from Northumbria University will be working on a project involving 2,000 teenagers to discover their attitudes towards energy use.

And lights and appliances left on, constant music and computer use, tumble dryers pressed into service on good old-fashioned outdoor drying days and being oblivious to bills would be on many parents’ lists.

The £1.4m Taking on the Teenagers project, funded by Research Council UK, is asking young people to take part by filling in on online survey.

Households with teenagers use double the amount of electricity as those without teenagers but until now there has been no research into why this is the case.

With rocketing electricity prices and the pressing issue of climate change, reducing teenage energy consumption is now seen as important. Northumbria’s Dr Beth Bell, who is working on the study with Dr Linda Little, said: “We know that teenagers use more electricity than any other group of people.

“This has serious financial implications for their parents and guardians who are usually left footing the bill.

“By working directly with teenagers we aim to find out more about their lifestyles and energy use and then use that knowledge to change their behaviour.”

Georgina Neave, 13, from Whickham School and Sports College in Gateshead, has already completed the project questionnaire.

She said: “A lot of teenagers care about their looks so I think that’s why they may use more electricity because we all have hair dryers and straighteners.

“But that’s not to say we don’t care about the planet too. I think this research is important because they need to know how teenagers use electricity before they can start to come up with solutions.”

Teenagers aged 12 to 19 are welcome to complete the questionnaire at www.tinyurl.com/areyouswitchedon  or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/areyouswitchedon

They can also take part in a follow-up study which involves keeping a diary of energy use for seven days. All participants will be entered into a prize draw for a £30 Amazon voucher.

 

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