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PwC weekly media briefing 10 June


This week’s topics: 

  • Home energy efficiency - which regions can make the biggest energy bill savings and contribute most to reducing carbon emissions?

  • UK gaming survey - how has the pandemic affected gaming habits in the UK? 

  • G7 global tax agreement

South East, North West and London households stand to benefit most from improving home energy efficiency

Our latest UK Economic Outlook calculates that households upgrading older properties to their highest potential EPC rating in the South East, North West and London could make the largest savings in terms of energy bills and the biggest contribution to reducing carbon emissions.

  • For properties in the South East built pre-2018, upgrading would save a total of £929m and reduce CO2 emissions by 6.45 million tonnes each year. For the North West the total savings would be £917m and generate a reduction of 6.17 million tonnes. For London the total accumulated savings would be £795m and generate a reduction of 4.77 million tonnes. 

  • In comparison, upgrading pre-2018 properties in the North East would save £321m and lead to a reduction of 2.29 million tonnes of carbon emissions each year.

  • On average, household costs are £374 a year lower for those living in new build properties built after 2018 at EPC band C standards (at 2020 prices). Households can expect to save around one quarter of their energy bill each year, or £178, by upgrading to their potential EPC rating. Yet PwC’s analysis confirms that from energy bill savings alone it can take, on average, at least 10 years for the upfront costs to be fully clawed back.   

Jonathan Gilham, chief economist at PwC, said:

“Households in London, the South East and the North West stand to make the biggest savings in terms of energy bills, due to the nature of older housing stock in those regions. Similarly, upgrading properties in regions with a higher proportion of houses and bungalows compared to flats, such as the East Midlands, will make a bigger impact on emissions than the North East, for example.”

Using the Data Explorer on the PwC UK Economic Outlook website, households in England and Wales can find out the potential savings from different upgrade options for their specific properties. This includes options of upgrading to their EPC potential and upgrading to a new build standard by property type, age and location.This will also reveal the estimated energy bill reduction as a percentage of their average household disposable income over different time periods.

The pandemic sees gaming time increase and the rise of the female gamer

Our survey of 1,000 UK consumers on their gaming habits reveals that over the past year, as forecast in PwC's Global Entertainment and Media Outlook report, the popularity and participation in gaming continues to rise. Key findings include:

  • The proportion of the UK population playing video games rose by 5% in the past year to 50% in 2021.

  • The biggest increase is among 18-34 year olds where the proportion rises to 73%, up 7% from 2020 when the figure stood at 66%.

  • The number of women gamers has also increased, with 48%, now playing video games - up from 43% last year.

  • The survey shows the number of people saying they play video games at least once a week increased to 88% compared to 50% in 2020. Of this group, half are playing four times a week or more, more than double what it was at the same time last year (23%).

  • A third of 18-34 year olds prefer watching gaming content and eSports to TV.

Conner Bell, consultant at PwC, said: “Gaming is one of the few sectors to thrive over the past year. With the extra time spent at home and with many ways to entertain themselves, people are choosing gaming and in some cases doubling their time doing so. 

“As well as gaming for entertainment purposes, what is interesting from the survey is respondents saying how key the social aspect has been during lockdown, with over a quarter saying they took part to spend time with friends or meet like minded people.”

G7 global tax agreement

Marissa Thomas, head of tax at PwC, said:

“While there is still further discussion to take place, including understanding the reactions of the G20 and the OECD/inclusive framework, the agreement that the G7 has reached is very significant and should contribute to a profound change in the corporate tax landscape.  

“We welcome developments that bring stability to the international tax system and we are hopeful that the G7 deal will contribute to long-term stability.”

Something to listen to:

Businesses are potentially missing millions through lack of diversity. Listen to our latest #HowToEmpower podcast to hear about why having a diverse and inclusive workforce, which matches your customers is essential to growth and profitability.

Something to watch: 

'Count Us In' is a global initiative which aims to inspire a billion people to significantly reduce their carbon footprint whilst challenging leaders to set and deliver bold, climate commitments at COP26 and beyond. Kevin Ellis, Chairman and Senior Partner at PwC UK, announced our participation in this video clip, in which he and other senior leaders in the firm make their personal commitments.

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