As part of its Hole In The Roof campaign, the Heating & Hot Water Industry Council (HHIC) introduces the Romans, an average British family wasting energy, and money, as if they have a very large hole in the roof.

The Romans are an ordinary family, living in an ordinary house, in an ordinary street and they could be any of us. They are one of Britain's energy-wasting average families and it's as if they are losing money through a very large hole in the roof. They don't actually have a hole in the roof, of course, but they might as well have one for all the energy that is leaking out through doors, walls, windows, fireplaces, roofs, keyholes, and garages.

It is a well-documented fact that Britons waste the most energy in the home compared to our European counterparts. So, who are the energy wasters that are letting their hard-earned cash disappear?

Human behaviour is one of the hardest things to change and the main reason for this is that people are very set in their ways and resistant to change. The Romans waste energy every day and, by not thinking how their behaviour impacts on their immediate environment, then the consequences that follow will be much higher utility bills.

Can you, or your customers, identify with the Romans and any of their energy wasting habits?

Dave Roman (Dad) likes to walk round the house wearing shorts and, to his kid's horror, sometimes just his pants. He turns the thermostat up very high and opens a window to cool down. Sometimes he puts the dishwasher on half full.

Claire Roman (Mum) takes long, luxurious soaks in the tub. She lights candles, has a good book and a few chocolates and keeps filling the bath with lots of hot water. She hangs the clothes up to dry after she has washed them at a high temperature. She then turns up the radiator thermostat and opens a window to get rid of the moisture. She is wasting all the heat that makes the house cosy and is paying for the privilege. She also likes a cup of tea (after boiling a full kettle) and to read a magazine sitting on a sofa that is blocking the radiator.

Alfie Roman is gadget mad. He leaves his PS3 games console on pause while he chats to his friends on Facebook. He leaves his phone charger plugged in all the time, and never turns off the lights when leaving a room. With the radiator at full blast, he leaves the window open so his mum won’t complain about his smelly trainers.

Demi Roman is always in the bathroom, and takes a shower twice a day. She also leaves the TV on standby and is always using hair strengtheners and leaving her iPod charger plugged in all day. She also spends long periods on her computer and forgets to switch off the monitor when she is not using it. Just like her brother Alfie, she never turns off the light when leaving a room.

Roger Webb, HHIC director said: "We can all identify with the behaviour of the Romans, as their energy wasting habits are quite familiar especially for those of us with teenage children. The purpose of our Hole in the Roof campaign is to raise awareness of energy efficiency and how important it is to make sure our homes leak less energy resulting in financial savings. Consumers can visit our fun and interactive website and click on icons in the house and find out what they can do to save money and energy."

HHIC has gathered a list of improvements and upgrades that installers can recommend to their customers in order to save them money. These include:

More tips and advice can be found online at

The Heating & Hotwater Industry Council is a member organisation committed to effectively supporting and promoting the sustained growth of the UK domestic heating and hot water industry. HHIC represents the industry at all levels, networks across the industry, Government and beyond, facilitates a range of market development, communication activities and research. It also provides technical expertise.