The high cost of living with must-have latest gadgets
Ulster's obsession with new electronic gadgets could cost the earth, new research has said.
The Energy Savings Trust (EST) says consumers plan to buy around 30 million electrical items in the next six months.
The gadgets will have a significant affect on energy bills and the environment, said the EST.
Top on the list of the must-have energy wasters is a Plasma TV, which use four times more energy than a traditional TV and cost about £100 a year to run.
The research found that people considered items such as juicers 'essentials'.
Noel Williams, Head of the EST in Northern Ireland, said consumer electronics manufacturers keep the market moving by changing the appearance of certain electronic products such as TVs every few years, encouraging consumers to feel that their equipment is out of date.
"It is clear that householders are increasingly adding new electrical gadgets to their homes. As well as increasing our spending on consumer electronics, our growing passion for gadgets is having a significant impact on our energy bills, and on the environment," he said.
"Over the past 10 years electricity consumption from consumer electronics and domestic IT has increased by 47%. And the outlook is not bright - over the next five years electricity consumption from this sector is expected to rise by a staggering 82%. This increase in electricity consumption would result in greater carbon dioxide emissions - one of the main causes of climate change."
The main culprits (32%) of this obsession are 'Trendies' - professional middle class males aged between 35-44, who are most likely to buy the gizmos.