Earth Notes: On Micro-survey Results

Updated 2020-12-14 18:48 GMT.
Archived results from some small surveys/polls taken on this site (and elsewhere)...
Micro-polls taken on or for this site (or otherwise of interest) and shown here are totally non-scientific straw polls of a self-selected motivated sub-set of readers, etc, etc... (Which means that the tabloid press may pick these numbers up and run with them as unvarnished truths! Hint: please don't!)

2020-12-11: Thermal Imaging?

2020-12-11: @EarthOrgUK asked (1 day poll, opened afternoon of the 11th): Who has done a thermal imaging survey of their UK home?

  • Yes (33%)
  • No (50%)
  • Other (in thread) (16.7%)

Final vote count was 6.

2017-04: Heating Off in April and On in November?

UK Twitter followers' heating status was surveyed periodically from April 2017.

The poll question has changed slightly over time, but here is a summary of apparent intent.

Yes, it seems that ~10% of respondents leave their heating on year round!

UK Twitterati central heating state snapshots.
DateOnOffWhat's Off?OtherVotes

2017-04: Off?

When I asked 2017-04-03 on Twitter who had turned off their heating (ie in/by April), a majority had, but not as big a majority as I'd hoped.

One person said "Heating on most of the year - that's what thermostats are for, surely?"

2017-10: On?

2017-10-03: @MyRadbot asked: Who has already turned their heating on, dear UK peeps?: (n=6) 1/3rd yes, 2/3rds no, and one from northern Scotland asking "What's off?"

2018-04: Off?

2018-04-09: @EarthOrgUK asked: Time for THAT question again! Which UK peeps have turned OFF their central heating now?

  • Yes 22%
  • No 58%
  • What's off? 16%
  • Other 4%

Total vote count was 112.

(Thanks for all the votes! Looks like it was just too cold for most people to hit 'off'. We did, mainly, subject to our younger one turning up his own room @MyRadbot without prior consultation!)

2018-06: Off?

2018-06-21: @EarthOrgUK asked: How many Tweeps (in the UK) still have their heating switched on June 21?

  • Yes 5%
  • No 79%
  • What's off again? 16%
  • Other 0%

Total vote count was 19.

@ed_davies (Caithness, Scotland) said: "Answered "what's off"? Oil boiler sort of died, removed the other day then found that replacement was wrong type. Using electric heater in living room pending new one, rest of house at 16 °C, kitchen extension at 14.5 °C."

@Zapaman said: "No heating since some time in April but temperature fine (well insulated house, sufficient thermal mass)," and attached a chart!

2019-11: On?

2019-10-31: @EarthOrgUK asked: We don't yet have our #heating on in London (#UK): what about you tweeps?

  • Our heating is off. 0%
  • Our heating is on. 100%
  • What's off? 0%

Total vote count was 11 by ~10pm on 1st November.

Quite a few votes then rolled in in the last half hour:

  • Our heating is off. 13%
  • Our heating is on. 88%
  • What's off? 0%

Final vote count was 16 by 10:30pm.

(Our heating went on the morning of 2019-11-10.)

2020-04: Off?

2020-04-01: @EarthOrgUK asked (2 day poll, opened afternoon of the 1st): My seasonal pop quiz... Which of you in the UK have already turned your central heating off?

  • CH is now off. (16%)
  • CH is still on (76%)
  • Other / What's "off"? (8%)

Final vote count was 37 by ~6pm on the 3rd April; halfway through it was ~10% off.

(Note that the UK was just short of two weeks into the coronavirus lockdown at the time of this poll, which may have changed things somewhat.)

(Our heating went off during the day on the 1st.)

2020-10: On?

2020-10-19: @EarthOrgUK asked: Who has their central heating on in the UK already? (poll open for 2 days):

  • Our heating is on. (75%)
  • Our heating is off. (13.3%)
  • What's off? (11.7%)

Total vote count: 60.

(Our bathroom MHRV went on as of the start of poll and we closed our windows, and with the heating still off we're at about 21°C inside (13°C out) as of the !)

When @SwitchedOnPorts (Switched On Portsmouth) asked on 8th October its poll got 2 votes either way. Maybe the 8th is indeed "the average big switch on day" as claimed.

2020-12: On?

This November has been the mildest for several years for 16WW, so our heating only went on for the morning of 1st December (~7am).

2020-12-01: @EarthOrgUK asked: SNAP POLL: Who has their central heating on in the UK already? (poll open for 2 days):

  • Our heating is on. (88.5%)
  • Our heating is off. (1.9%)
  • What's off? (9.6%)

Total vote count: 52.

So we've dropped from ~13% (1 in 8) off mid-October, to ~2% (1 in 50) still off by the start of December, even when relatively mild for many in the UK.

2009-09: What Topic Next?

Closing in September 2009, I had asked: "What topics would you most like me to write up here next?":

Electric cars, bikes and scooters 11% (3)
Wind turbines at home 11% (3)
Installing solar PV (for electricity) at home 14% (4)
Installing solar thermal (for hot water) at home 11% (3)
Efficient dishwashing 18% (5)
Train travel: is it 'green'? 7% (2)
Supermarket home delivery vs using your own car 11% (3)
Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) and saving energy 7% (2)
Is bulk buying of food a good idea? 7% (2)
Re-use: library vs buying books 4% (1)

(Total votes: 28)

2008-09: How do you feel about Electric Cars?

Closing in September 2008, Solar John took a poll: "Because of rapidly rising gasoline prices it's likely that we'll soon be driving electric cars. As a result of battery issues some car companies plan to lease batteries instead of selling them with the car. How do you feel about that?" The results were:

I prefer to lease the car and lease the batteries. 0% (0)
I prefer to buy the car and lease the batteries. 38% (8)
I prefer to buy the car and buy the batteries. 61% (13)

2008-08: Spending on Insulation?

Starting at the end of August 2008 I asked: "How much are you spending or have you spent on conservation/insulation for this winter (in the Northern Hemisphere)?" and received the initial 15 responses in the first day, mainly from people already very interested in generating their own power, etc, and then an equal and maybe more typical response over the next fortnight:

Answer Initial Wave (15, first 24h) Full (31, after 2 weeks)
Nothing: I can't be bothered. 0% (0) 3% (1)
Nothing: I have no money. 0% (0) 3% (1)
Nothing: I rent and/or don't pay bills. 13% (2) 10% (3)
Less than my annual electricity+heating bills. 27% (4) 45% (14)
As much or more than my annual electricity+heating bills. 53% (8) 39% (12)

2008-04: Are You Reducing CO2 Now?

Over April 2008 I asked "Are you reducing GHG/CO2 emissions for your home and/or business this year?" and received the following (30) responses:

Yes, I intend to reduce. 13% (4)
Yes, I have already reduced. 70% (21)
I'd like to do more but I'm short of cash. 3% (1)
I'd like to do more but I don't know what. 3% (1)
No, I think that I can't make a difference. 0% (0)
No, I think global warming and GHG-worry is a waste of time. 7% (2)
Other 3% (1)

2008-03: Green Spend at Home?

Early 2008 research from the Co-op Bank suggested that the UK public plans to spend more than £13b to make their homes greener in 2008 (an average of £550 per house per year). Two-thirds claimed that they had reduced their carbon footprint in the past year.

2008-02: Electricity Use at Home?

An informal on-line poll of usage per month, in a blog read by a worldwide audience including the UK and US, indicated as of 2008-02-04 that the modal monthly kWh (mains) electricity use is around 500 to 600:

How much electricity do you use each month?
Less than 300kWh18
300 to 600kWh26
600 to 900kWh18
900 to 1200kWh8
1200 to 1500kWh12
1500 to 1800kWh2
More than 1800kWh11


EOU Micro-survey Results
Micro-survey results from Earth.Org.UK and @EarthOrgUK Twitter account
survey, micro, straw poll, on-line, self-reporting
date created
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this dataset is licensed under CC0, ie it is effectively public domain; if you make use of this data, attribution is nice but not obligatory


  • Free on-line poll service MicroPoll that I've used: thanks!