Brits believe financial barriers threaten energy efficiency adoption

  • Energy efficient lightbulbs

    More than 90% of respondents expressed concerns that fuel poverty will rise if energy efficiency measures are not better adopted. Image credit: P Gordon/Flickr Creative Commons

More than nine in ten people believe that fuel poverty levels in the UK will continue to increase if nothing is done to improve the adoption of energy efficiency, according to a survey published by the Rexel Foundation and Opinion Way.  

Over three quarters of those surveyed admitted to being concerned their energy bills, however, only 68% said that they had installed energy efficiency measures in the past five years. Of those that did, four in five wanted to reduce their energy bills, while 27% were motivated by environmental concerns.

When asked what was holding them back from installing energy efficiency measures, 63% blamed the cost of measures and other financial considerations. The second largest concern was that renters felt that measures wouldn’t be worth their while (24%), in addition 21% said that the choice of technologies was too overwhelming.  

When asked to name which specific financial barriers were hindering adoption, 35% cited a lack of disposable income with 23% expressing a reluctance to borrow money and get into debt.  

When surveyed, electricians echoed consumers’ concerns, with 64% saying that cost considerations and other financial implication are putting customers off adopting energy efficiency measures.

In order to develop the market, 91% of electricians said there was a need for better financing solutions.

Brian Smithers, strategic development director for Rexel Northern European Zone, commented: “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.

“While the government and the energy companies have an important role to play here, it’s crucial that the UK’s army of trusted electricians are able to educate their customers about the support available. Soft skills are as valuable here as technical ones; the future of energy efficiency in the UK depends on the ability to better communicate financial incentives, ROI and long term cost savings. Rexel is committed to providing the tools and knowhow needed to help electricians drive greater adoption of energy efficiency through training and by raising awareness and understanding of the most effective energy efficient technologies and products available.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) has published new research today which claims that energy efficiency measures add significant value to properties across England.

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