Brits are loving the return of football with 53 per cent watching matches over the weekend.

Research of 2,000 adults revealed those football fans spent an average of more than 10 hours watching games between Friday and Sunday.

And 37 per cent admitted to soaking up as much of the coverage as possible, watching both the pre-and post-match commentary.

But one in five admitted they were worried about their increased energy usage over the weekend as a result.

With pubs and stadiums still closed to the public, free-to-view options meant that even more could tune in at home, including to watch the weekend’s biggest game, Everton versus Liverpool.

The BBC also showed its first Premier League game since its inception in 1992.

Without being able to watch with friends, 46 per cent of fans said they relied on technology more than usual to recreate a good football viewing atmosphere.

The average viewer used two devices during match time, with one in six fans turning to video calls to debate the game with friends while they watched at home – discussing moments like De Gea’s howler in Manchester United’s draw with Tottenham.

A quarter also turned the kettle on to make tea during each match, and one in 10 switched on the blender to make a Premier League cocktail.

Robert Cheesewright, director of corporate affairs at Smart Energy GB, which commissioned the research, said: “The Premier League is finally back and although fans are unable to enter stadiums, every game is available to view on television, which brings about a greater reliance on TV’s, laptops and smart devices as people try to recreate that matchday atmosphere you get nowhere else but on the terraces.

“Increased energy use during the Covid crisis has meant an increase in bills for many households, but there is a simple way to stay in control and that is by getting a smart meter installed.”

The study also found a third of those polled were incredibly excited to see the return of the Premier League – with a further one in six looking forward to the games even though they’re not usually avid football fans.

Almost a fifth watched together as a family – as they’ve got used to doing things together during lockdown.

And 31 per cent have been so happy about the return of the sport, they didn’t care about the games being played in empty stadiums.

Those in the capital seemed to miss football the most, with 63 per cent saying they have watched at least one game since it was restarted last week – although many Arsenal fans may wish they hadn’t.

Aside from their hunger for football, 43 per cent turned on the oven to cook up delicious treats to enjoy throughout the game such as pizza, nachos or burgers.

For those in the house not-so interested in matters on the field, they were either watching TV in another room, video calling friends and family, streaming Netflix or cooking and baking.

Robert Cheesewright from Smart Energy GB, added: “In a time where people are using more energy at home than usual, even when watching the football, it’s important to keep an eye on your consumption.

“Not only do smart meters allow you to see your energy use in near real time so you can manage it more easily, they are helping to reduce reliance on fossil fuels and integrate more renewable power into our electricity system.

“So, while you’re cheering on your beloved team to victory, and messaging your friends about that last-minute overhead kick equaliser, your smart meter will make sure your energy usage lasts way beyond the final whistle.”

FIVE WAYS TO MANAGE ENERGY CONSUMPTION WHEN WATCHING THE FOOTBALL
1. Cook for everyone at once – If you have a busy household, make sure you’re catering for everyone, even those watching something else in another room. Plus, it’s more sociable.

2. Get the barbecue out – If the weather’s good, it saves on using the oven and can be a great way of making more of an event of the football – even if it’s just for the two of you in your household.

3. Ask your energy supplier for a smart meter – They are the best way to monitor the energy you are consuming via a handy in-home display, which shows you how much you are spending in near real time. And if you’re on a pre-pay tariff, you can top up during half-time without leaving the sofa.

4. If you’re sticking the kettle on after the match, make sure you only boil the amount of water you need, rather than filling it up to the max.

5. When you’ve finished with the TV – win or lose – remember not to leave it on standby and switch your electronics off at the wall when you’re not using them.

ENDS

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