At a time when Government is striving to gear up its ‘go green’ strategy, new research conducted by utility and environmental consultancy Gemserv has identified a widespread lack of green awareness. Over 50% of the survey respondents were unable to correctly identify that Government’s Green Deal is related to energy efficiency initiatives, suggesting instead that it was designed to protect national forests or to increase the number of hybrid cars on the road.
The survey, which questioned just over 2,000 British adults, found that while 61% of homeowners would consider installing technology such as solar panels, a so-called ‘Green Gap’ – which signals lack of awareness about installation, cost savings and available benefits – is currently preventing them from doing so.
More than half of those surveyed highlighted cost as a large barrier to entry, with 57% saying they would not consider installing any of the listed renewable technologies as they viewed them as too expensive. A total of 32% were unsure how much money they could save or earn from renewable energy sources, with a worrying 65% completely unaware of Government’s feed-in tariff scheme.
In response to the findings, Gemserv’s Chief Executive Officer David Thorne said, “I am encouraged by some of these findings as I am delighted that nearly half the population would like to install renewable energy technologies; what worries me is the lack of fundamental awareness surrounding it. To bridge the Green Gap it’s essential we continue to educate consumers and break down some of the myths surrounding the Green Deal, energy efficiency and microgeneration.”
The UK’s 26 million homes are responsible for 14% of the country’s overall greenhouse gas emissions, yet over a quarter (28%) of British homeowners would not consider installing energy efficiency measures in their homes, such as double glazing, efficient boilers or loft and wall insulation, despite the associated cost savings.
Experts estimate that if the Green Gap was bridged, the UK could potentially save approximately 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year.