More than six million phones, devices lying idle in Irish homes - survey

Research indicates 2.3 million cars on Irish roads up 200,000 since 2017

Irish households spend an average of €112 on energy and €113 on fuel for transport every month, according to a poll for the Irish Offshore Operators’ Association (IOOA).

The survey also indicated there are 6.2 million phones and devices lying unused in people’s homes, almost equal to the 6.4 million phones and tablets in use. More than one in five adults (21 per cent) have two unused devices, while 36 per cent have one lying idle.

And it found that 49 per cent of people are unaware they already pay carbon tax and those over 55 are the best at energy saving.

Conducted by IReach Insights, the survey also suggested that the number of cars on the road has risen to 2.3 million, an increase of 200,000 since the last CSO figures on car ownership published in 2017. Currently 83 per cent of households have a car, while 35 per cent have two.


The IOOA has described the poll as its first ‘Offshore Energy Index’ to measure levels of awareness about energy use, conservation and supply in the growing debate on future energy needs and climate change.

The association is the representative body for the Irish offshore oil and gas industry and its index found that nine of out ten respondents believe Ireland should try to secure its own energy, with three out of four adults either concerned (46 per cent) or very concerned (30 per cent) about the price and supply of energy.

Some 71 per cent of respondents said finding Irish natural gas is more secure than importing from Britain post-Brexit (28 per cent agreed and 43 per cent agreed strongly) while 25 per cent had no opinion and 4 per cent disagreed (1 per cent strongly).

A significant majority (77 per cent) of over 55s agree that finding more Irish gas is more than importing from Britain while 66 per cent of 18-34 year-olds disagreed.

Commenting on energy security chief executive of the IOOA Mandy Johnston said “there is a general lack of awareness about where Ireland sources its power, with 57 per cent of adults unaware that Ireland gets 40 per cent of its natural gas from the Kinsale Head and Corrib fields”.

But she said that “global political instability, tensions in the Middle East and Brexit have made people worried about price and supplies. It is important all stakeholders work together to address these concerns and provide energy security.”

According to the IOOA the survey was conducted between September 19th and 27th on a representative basis by age, gender, social class and region and received more than 1,000 responses with an accuracy level to within + or - 2.5 per cent.

On household energy use and saving the index found the most common energy saving activities were doing washing or drying at off-peak hours (57 per cent), pre-set timers for heating (46 per cent), low-energy technology (41per cent), pre-set timers for hot-water (36 per cent), smart home tech for lighting (15 per cent ) and smart home tech for heating (10 per cent).

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran

Marie O'Halloran is Parliamentary Correspondent of The Irish Times