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Public support for renewables remains high

Study reveals negative press coverage has done little to alter positive perception of renewable energy generation

decc-logoFindings published by the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) showed that negative articles surrounding the use of green technologies have had a negligible effect on public sentiment over the past 18 months.

The Wave 6 Public Attitudes Tracker surveyed 2,124 households in early July, and discovered the DECC’s strategy for renewables and climate change retains broad support among the public.

The department said 76% of consumers back its plans for the use of renewables, which represents a slight decline from the 79% seen 18 months ago. It is a bigger fall, however, from earlier this year when support sat at 82%.

The number of those who oppose renewable installations also remains low at 5% – the same level recorded during the initial survey, undertaken 18 months ago.

Britain ‘needs a mix of energy resources to ensure reliability’

In terms of the types of technology supported by the public, there were a range of different results. 81% back solar power as the solution of the future, compared to just 60% who support the use of biomass.

It was also found that 72% support the use of wave and tidal power, while 71% back offshore wind and 65% are in favour of onshore wind farms.

However, the majority of the public agree that the UK needs to have diversity in its use of renewables. The survey showed that 81% of Brits are supportive of the use of a range of solutions to ensure a reliable supply of electricity.

Almost half unaware of the impact of smart meters on bills

When it comes to energy saving in the home as a way of reducing the price of bills, the report indicated this is something Brits are fairly savvy about. It was found that 76% of residents have considered how they can save energy at home.

However, knowledge of how to achieve this remains short of where it should be, the DECC said. Some 47% of people in the UK have never heard of smart meters and the benefits they can have with regards to bills. This is only a marginal improvement on the 53% who said the same when the survey was carried out 18 months ago.

Smart meters are an important part of government strategy. They work by connecting homes directly to energy firms through electricity meters. This means their bills are always calculated via exact readings as opposed to estimated usage levels, which can lead to lower costs in the long run.

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