Gas and electricity consumption in UK homes saw a noticeable decline in the years between 2005 and 2011, new figures from the Office for National Statistics (ONS) has revealed. 

There was a decrease of 24.7 per cent in energy consumption during the time period, with average consumption standing at 19.7MWh in 2011. In 2005, average consumption stood at 26.2MWh per year. 

A number of factors have been attributed to the decline in consumption of almost a quarter, including increased campaigns for energy savings, the introduction of EPC ratings for buildings, increases in loft and cavity wall insulation, and improved boilers.

Furthermore, the number of households installing renewable systems such as solar panels could also be one of the reasons for the stark decrease in energy usage. 

Another reason could be households becoming more aware of their consumption, due to rising gas and electricity prices. 

Renewable systems will not only help to cut a households reliance on expensive energy from the national grid, but they could also provide a source of income through schemes like the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive and the feed-in tariff. 

According to the ONS statistics, the South West used the least energy during 2011 on average when compared to other regions in England and Wales. 

The South West used just 16.1 MWh of energy per household in 2011, in comparison with the 27.5 MWh used in the East Midlands. 

Recent statistics from SmartestEnergy revealed that the South West was one of the most prominent locations for commercial solar energy generation, and it is also a top region for domestic panel installations, due to the levels of sunlight in the area.

Wales followed closely behind the South West in regards to energy consumption, with just 16.3MWh hours used by the average household during 2011. 

Increased government emphasis on solar schemes could perhaps further decrease these figures in the coming years, especially following the introduction of the Green Deal and the feed-in tariff.