The majority of Brits are unaware that they can receive government funding for installing solar, according to research commissioned by renewable distributor Rexel.

A YouGov survey which canvassed over 2,000 members of the public found that 61% were unaware that the government offers support for installing solar PV. While just 10% said that they fully understood the feed-in tariff scheme.

“The industry needs to be better at communicating directly to the public about what is good and give real examples of how PV can protect from future potential energy increases,” said Rexel’s Jerry Hamilton. “Leaving the message up to the general press to explain the name ‘feed-in tariff’ was a mistake.

“The industry should have commanded this space and made sure a clear message was always available without political bias. The study shows that a good consistent message is needed with the truth from the industry that not all roofs are suitable and that not all modules are the same.”

Just under half of those surveyed who didn't own solar arrays said that they would be encouraged to install them if they had the money or where given financial support to install them. The cost of installing solar remains the most common concern among potential customers with 38% stating that solar was not worth the upfront investment.

More worryingly, the statistics show that 30% would not invest in solar because of concerns about the trustworthiness of solar salespeople. A further 18% said that they would have concerns about finding a reliable installer to undertake the work.

On the other hand, just 19% of those surveyed said that would not install solar PV because of the way they look with only 5% worried that their neighbours would disapprove.

More than 80% of those surveyed expressed concerns about escalating energy bills, as a direct result of energy bill concerns 12% said that they would investigate installing solar PV to protect themselves against future energy price hikes.

The adoption of solar PV as a mainstream source of energy for the UK remains a popular concept, with 83% stating that they expect solar to play a part in the UK's future energy mix and 32% expecting it to play a major part.

Asked how the industry can exploit the public’s appetite for solar in the immediate future, Hamilton told Solar Power Portal: “The industry should encourage individual research by making facts available about choice. Rexel Energy Solutions believes that guaranteeing a systems production rather than leaving the end client with an estimation is also key. The general public are so important as this is also the space where managers and business leaders live and they need confidence to bring PV to the workplace.

“We have launched SolarEnergEasy to allow trusted contractors to offer a Rexel Guarantee of production. We have the confidence in our manufacturers that are selected from the world best and there is no reason why we should not pass that confidence on to the end user.”