A survey carried out by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) has discovered that 9% of households in the UK are considering installing solar.
The poll, carried out to coincide with the end of government’s Big Energy Saving Week, lists solar PV as one of the most popular measure amongst the public to tackle rising energy bills.
The most popular measure being considered was the installation of LED light bulbs, with one in four respondents saying they were considering the technology.
However, only 5% of the 2,011 respondents polled said that they were considering installing heat pumps to generate renewable heat, despite heating making up the majority of UK domestic bills and the upcoming introduction of the domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
In addition, only 6% indicated that they were likely to consider home cavity wall insulation to help reduce bills. In its latest quarterly statistics, the Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) estimates that around 30% of Britain’s properties do not have cavity wall insulation.
The IET believes that the results of the survey should serve as a call to action for government. Marjan Sarshar from the IET explained: “People are not planning to spend money on energy efficiency because the returns are too intangible and the long-term Green Deal loan remains with the house. The government needs to make energy efficiency measures more accessible.”
Sarshar believes that the government could achieve this by adopting a similar policy to that of cars whereby more efficient cares pay less tax. He explained: "A substantive reduction in Council Tax, which would remain with the property to add to its value, would encourage the uptake of Green Deal. In this way the householders would see the tangible benefit and would be more likely to respond by making their own investments.”
The Green Deal, the UK’s flagship energy efficiency policy, has received heavy criticism recently; however, the government has defended the scheme by championing the fact that more than 129,000 assessments had been completed. Energy and climate change minster, Greg Barker, has also committed to "inject more momentum" into the scheme with a series of improvements.