Too expensive and time consuming, there is still work to do to change people’s views on being more sustainable, according to research.

A nationwide poll has revealed that 10% of people still feel they won’t make an impact on the environment as an individual, with one in five thinking it costs too much and over a quarter claiming it’s too much effort.

Smart Energy GB’s ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ index aims to challenge these beliefs, outlining the small, often cost-free steps, such as getting a smart meter, that everyone can take towards a cleaner, greener and smarter Britain.

West Lothian in Scotland is ranked the number one place in the Great Britain following calculations of recycling statistics and smart meter use, while Chester and Bridgend top the rankings in England and Wales respectively.

However, research has revealed there is still much more to do to educate the public about the environmental benefits of making small changes to their lifestyles.

Two fifths of those polled were not aware that filling up the fridge, even if it’s with bottles of tap water, is more energy efficient, while 23% admitted they are aware of the environmental benefits of taking shorter showers, but don’t make the effort to do so.

Despite high-profile campaigns, almost half of people still buy water in plastic bottles while 45% still boil more water in the kettle than needed.

Research revealed many are still wasting energy, with three in ten leaving lights on in empty rooms and half of people leaving appliances on standby.

Just 15 per cent encourage friends and family to be more sustainable on a regular basis, which is surprising when four in ten feel guilty for not being energy efficient.

“Small actions really do add up to make a difference. By getting a smart meter you’re taking a small step towards a more sustainable future for everyone. It doesn’t cost you anything and is so easy to do,” said TV presenter Helen Skelton.

"It doesn’t cost you anything and is so easy to do, just search: ‘I want a smart meter’ or call 0300 131 8000."

But it’s hoped the new ‘Areas for a Beautiful Future’ index will encourage communities, families and individuals to take simple, small steps towards a greener tomorrow.

“Smart meters can’t solve climate change on their own, but they are the building blocks of a reliable, clean and affordable energy system for the future. We’d like to congratulate all of those identified by our top 30 Index, especially the residents of West Lothian,” said Smart Energy GB’s Robert Cheesewright.