The number of searches made for terms relating to saving energy has seen a significant increase in the last 12 months, according to new figures from Hitwise.

Posted by Hitwise UK research director Robin Goad on his blog, the statistics showed that queries such as ‘loft insulation’ and ‘underfloor heating’ have risen as the credit crunch continues to bite.

The data also revealed that searches for ethical goods rose sharply over Christmas 2007 as consumers sought out gifts falling into this category.

Mr Goad also highlighted a rise in the number of people visiting utilities sites as a result of increasing energy prices.

"UK internet traffic to a custom category of electricity and gas suppliers has doubled over the last year," he stated.

This follows previous Hitwise figures indicating that consumers are increasingly searching online for home improvement and garden-related products as fewer people choose to move home amid a slowing property market.

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