The cost of making energy efficient improvements is still a barrier to take-up in homes around the UK, it has been revealed, despite the fact that the vast majority of Brits are concerned about their energy bills.
More than nine in ten people believe that fuel poverty levels in Britain will increase if nothing is done to improve the adoption of energy efficiency.
Three-quarters of British consumers have admitted to being worried about their energy bills, and 68% said that during the past five years they have made some energy efficiency improvements to their homes.
Slashing energy bills
When it came to the reasons for energy efficiency improvements, 79% said cutting bills was their main motivation for making such installations, while 27% claimed the environment was a key driver for them.
It appears that energy efficiency products are popular among Brits, with 89% of those surveyed saying that investing in energy efficiency products such as LED lighting, installing efficient heating and air conditioning systems or upgrading the insulation of their homes would see their bills slashed. Almost half believe the reduction will be up to 20% or more.
Despite this apparent enthusiasm for energy efficiency, the majority of consumers say the cost and other financial considerations of such measures are holding them back. Renters felt it would not be worth their while (24%), while 21% admitted the choice of technologies was simply too overwhelming for them.
When questioned on the specific financial issues holding households back from adopting such measures, the top worry was a lack of disposable income to invest in energy efficiency, followed by a reluctance to borrow money and get into debt (23%).
Furthermore, 64% of electricians claimed that cost considerations are dampening the take-up of such technology. A lack of knowledge surrounding energy efficiency could also be to blame, warn those in the industry, with 47% citing ignorance as a reason for lack of adoption.
Despite admitting to the financial barriers for consumers, the vast majority of electricians contended that the sector is on the up – with 87% recommending that young electricians specialise in energy efficiency.
Brian Smithers, strategic development director at Rexel Northern European Zone, which commissioned the poll, commented that the issue may simply be that not enough people are aware of the incentives and schemes open to them – such as the Green Deal.
“It’s worrying to hear that cost concerns are still putting consumers off investing in energy efficiency measures, especially in view of the launch of incentives such as the Green Deal, which allows homeowners to access funding for energy efficiency at no upfront cost. However, this survey makes it clear that there is little awareness of the options available,” he said.
The expert added that while the government clearly has a role to play in promoting its flagship Green Deal, electricians should also strive to educate their customers about the support available.