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Eastenders Cleans Up as Greenest SoapPrint

Date & time: 17 June 2011

Following its success at the BAFTAs, EastEnders has also beaten off soap rivals to be named as Britain’s ‘greenest soap’ according to research commissioned by EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012.

~EDF Energy encourages Britons to follow example of best loved TV characters and 'think green'~

Following its success at the BAFTAs, EastEnders has also beaten off soap rivals to be named as Britain's 'greenest soap' according to research commissioned by EDF Energy, the first sustainability partner of London 2012. The study shows that characters in Eastenders, who share their E20 post code with the Olympic Park, are taking more action to reduce their on-screen carbon footprint than those from any of the other soaps analysed.

With millions of viewers tuning in to watch the TV soap families to witness the dramas of their daily lives unfolding, the lifestyle choices some of these characters are making could help set a precedent for a greener way of life. 

The Mitchell family are named by the study as Britain's greenest soap stars, with the programme's Shirley Carter crowned the ultimate green soap character. The research, which looked at four of Britain's best loved soaps, EastEnders, Emmerdale, Coronation Street and Hollyoaks, was conducted to encourage Britons to think about the ways in which they use energy in their everyday lives.

Below are the top five green soap families and characters:

1. The Mitchells/Shirley Carter - EastEnders
2. The Dingles/Zak Dingle - Emmerdale
3. The Websters/Rosie Webster - Coronation Street
4. The Mitchells/Ronnie Mitchell - EastEnders
5. The Barlows/Ken Barlow - Coronation Street

Each soap's characters were monitored for one month and judged against a set of green criteria. These included their use of public transport, how many times they used electrical appliances, remembering to switch lights off and using lower carbon forms of transport such as walking or cycling. Their positive and negative 'eco-activities' were measured and compared to reveal Britain's greenest soap family.

Jim Poole, Director of Residential Customers at EDF Energy, said: "While the research takes a light-hearted look at energy efficiency, EDF Energy is serious about helping Britons live more sustainably - that's why we founded Team Green Britain. By highlighting the green actions of the TV soap families we hopes to encourage people to make more sustainable choices in their own everyday lives.

Mo Shapiro, behavioural psychologist added: "This research from EDF Energy highlights that television soap operas could be reflecting an increased interest in sustainability and green living in Britain. Despite the growing influence of social networking in our lives, television certainly continues to exercise a significant influence over our behaviour and personal habits including being environmentally active. I would hope that seeing our favourite soap stars being environmentally aware will, in turn, have a knock on effect on the viewer's lifestyle choices."

Households in the UK are estimated to spend around 8% of their electricity bill just powering appliances on standby . EcoManager, available exclusively from EDF Energy, allows consumers to both monitor the electricity consumption of appliances, and switch them off remotely, helping people to take steps to save electricity and reduce their monthly energy bills.

Commenting on the Eastenders win, Jim Poole added "Team Green Britain was founded to help people reduce their carbon footprint ahead of London 2012. It's therefore great to see that the famous TV characters from London's East End are already doing their bit to reduce their impact on the environment before the Games takes place on their doorstep. To help them further we'll be sending one of our EcoManager devices to the set, making it easier for the characters to ensure that electrical appliances in the Queen Vic are turned off come closing time". 

Those looking for other ideas to help them save energy and money can visit Founded by EDF Energy, Team Green Britain is a community which aims to help people work together to tackle climate change. The initiative is now comprised of over one million members and by following the advice from Team Green Britain, people can save up to 20% on their bills, producing a potential saving of around £1661.


1. We've based that saving on a typical EDF Energy customer with typical energy consumption, supplied on our standard tariffs, who reduces their household's annual energy consumption by 20% through energy saving measures. 'Typical energy consumption' means an energy consumption of 3,300 kWh of electricity and 16,500 kWh of gas each year.

Notes to editors:

EDF Energy

EDF Energy is one of the UK's largest energy companies and the largest producer of low-carbon electricity, producing around one-sixth of the nation's electricity from its nuclear power stations, wind farms, coal and gas power stations and combined heat and power plants. The company supplies gas and electricity to more than 5.5 million business and residential customer accounts and is the biggest supplier of electricity by volume in Great Britain.

EDF Energy's safe and secure operation of its eight existing nuclear power stations at sites across the country makes it the UK's largest generator of low carbon electricity. EDF Energy is also leading the UK's nuclear renaissance and has published plans to build four new nuclear plants, subject to the right investment framework. These new plants could generate enough low carbon electricity for about 40% of Britain's homes. They would make an important contribution to the UK's future needs for clean, secure and affordable energy. The project is already creating business and job opportunities for British companies and workers.

Through Our Sustainability Commitments, EDF Energy has launched one of the biggest environmental and social programmes of any British energy company and the company has since been awarded the highest ranking of Platinum Plus in Business in the Community's 2011 Corporate Responsibility Index, the UK's leading voluntary benchmark of corporate responsibility.

EDF is the official energy utilities partner and sustainability partner of the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games. The company is also helping its customers and others use energy more sustainably through products and initiatives such as Team Green Britain, smart meters and electric vehicle research.

EDF Energy is part of EDF Group, one of Europe's largest power companies. The company employs around 15,000 people at locations across the UK.

Full breakdown of results

The research was conduced by Rogers and Cowan.

Monitoring took place: 14th February - 14th March 2011

Programme Positive Actions Negative Actions Net Actions
Eastenders +34 -11 +23
Coronation Street +19 -6 +13
Hollyoaks +9 -2 +7
Emmerdale +1 -3 +7


Positive action examples: Taking public transport, lift sharing, cycling, recycling, hand washing dishes, cooking without appliances, taking a shower (instead of a bath), using local market

Negative actions examples: Driving, using a computer, tumble dryers, hairdryers, leaving the lights on

A growing community

Here's how Team Green Britain has grown since our launch in 2009


Wouldn't it be nice if you had someone to help you keep your energy use in check and let you know how much you were spending? Meet EcoManager, our exclusive wireless appliance controller that does just that.