Report: Two thirds of UK consumers don’t know how much solar panels cost

According to the latest research conducted by energy efficiency specialists The Eco Experts 92 percent of people in the UK are worried about rising energy bills while 66 percent don’t realise how little it could cost to switch to renewable energy.

The research project, which was launched to gauge public opinion on energy costs and to find out what the public understands about renewable energy, surveyed 1,994 UK consumers about energy use and about the sustainable alternatives to buying from the National Grid.

"[The project was designed] to change UK misconceptions about renewable energy and encourage people to reconsider the way they power their homes and the way they pay for that power," explained David Thomas at Eco Experts.

Out of those surveyed, 92 percent showed concern over rising energy prices with only 8 percent – representing society’s high earners – saying they were undaunted by cost. UK energy prices have risen at a rate of 6.6 percent above the rate of inflation between 2005 and 2011.

Having established that there is significant concern surrounding increased energy prices the Eco Experts then asked the same respondents about microgeneration as an alternative to rising bills, identifying solar power as the most popular source.

The Eco Experts research revealed that as solar panels become more common and their appearance more accepted the main reason people don’t install solar panels is perceived cost – yet not many UK consumers are aware of how much that is.

One in three understand that a solar installation can save and generate £1,000 per year, but twice that number don’t know how much solar panels cost to have installed.

More than 80 percent of respondents would install solar if it came with no upfront cost while only 30 percent realise there are solar loans available.

"Our research has basically shown that people are very anxious about the cost of energy and the fact that it lies outside of their control. They try to save energy but still their bills are rising. And all the while, as most of the UK is feeling this way, there is a solution that is being undervalued and overlooked," Thomas concluded.

The full Eco Experts report can be found here.