LONDON — Is it a body image issue or just about saving money? A new survey finds many people still have the bills on their mind even when they’re getting intimate. Researchers say one in 10 people turn the lights off when making love just to cut their electricity bill.
The poll of 2,000 British adults also finds being self-conscious and being unable to relax are reasons people shut off the lights. The OnePoll survey, commissioned by Utilita Energy, adds more male respondents want to keep the lights on in the bedroom than women. Among those trying to save money however, men are twice as likely to cut the power during a bedroom romp.
“Apparently, people want to keep the bedroom lights off for all sorts of reasons,” a Utilita Energy spokesman says in a statement. “It’s understandable that people may feel self-conscious or awkward getting up close and personal with the lights on.”
Whether it’s to save or avoid awkward feelings, one in 10 respondents simply refuses to have sex until their partner turns out the lights.
Are you really saving money?
Unfortunately if you think turning off the lights during a romp will help your bottom line, you’re in for some disappointment. The energy provider says you probably won’t notice a difference in your bill (unless you get a whole house generator of course).
“It would have to be an extended period of adult time to have a serious impact on your end-of-month electricity bill,” the spokesman adds.
Among its findings, the survey shows it takes about two months on average before people in a relationship are comfortable seeing each other naked. For male respondents, however, they tend to reach this point in about half that time.
Doing everything in the dark?
The poll finds sex isn’t the only thing people are doing in the dark. In a quest to save energy, over half of respondents stumble through the dark to go to the bathroom at night. Another 27 percent say they get dressed in the dark during winter mornings.
People are also working on their laptops, showering, and even reading with a flashlight to reduce their energy use. Six in 10 say they follow their partners around shutting off lights that are left on.
“If every household in the UK turned off lights in unoccupied rooms, in one year we would reduce our carbon emissions by 1.25m tons of CO2 per year – it would take 5.5 million trees takes to absorb the same amount,” the spokesman explains. “It’s the same as taking 1.1 million cars off the road for a year, in terms of carbon savings.”
Helping pets and fooling burglars
There are a couple of reasons respondents say they keep the lights on. One of those is to benefit their furry friends.
Researchers say 16 percent “always” leave the lights on bright when they go out. A fifth of those respondents do it so their pets can see where they’re going around their homes.
The biggest reason however, is to fool would-be home intruders into thinking someone is home. Half of the respondents use this trick when they go out for the night.