Households and businesses up and down the UK use energy all day – from boiling the kettle in the ad breaks to heating the home. Without electricity you would not be reading this article and you certainly wouldn’t be able to Tweet about it afterwards!

Despite having such a high dependence on energy and an interest of finding the cheapest gas and electricity, few people consider how an energy supplier such as npower receive their energy supply, or even how it all began.

Also see : Modern Home Security Gadgets vs. What Our Ancestors Used

It all started from fire
In 770,000 BC humans in Israel realised that they could create fire. This led to the Chinese using fire to burn coals for heat and to cook food. They soon cottoned on to the idea of collecting and refining petroleum too. As they say: ‘the rest is history’.

New sources of energy
As demand for power increased, teams from different countries around the world went about searching for new sources of energy.

It was in Europe, around the year 200 AD, that water wheels were developed in order to harness the energy from the water. Just a few centuries later, the Persians began using windmills for the same reason.

The majority of the 18th, 19th and 20th century was then fuelled by coal.

Modern day
It is in recent years that the change in where our energy comes from has been most dramatic. In the 1970s, coal was the main source of electricity but in recent years it has accounted for as little as one third, as nuclear and renewable sources take over.

These days the UK energy market is complex and there are a number of factors that influence your energy bill. With more than 20 power stations generating and selling energy and 30 supply companies, there is a lot more to your gas and electricity than flicking a switch!

The future
The UK is currently building nuclear power stations, but they won’t be in operation for many years – likely the end of the 2020s. By then the country will hope to fulfil the target of 15% of total energy generation coming from renewable sources.

This means that the face of energy could be changing once again – adding a few extra scenarios to this history of energy infographic:

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