The public overwhelmingly support a much more ambitious scheme to push renewable energy for homes and communities, a new poll shows today ahead of a key government announcement next week.

Government officials are putting the finishing touches to plans to boost the take-up of renewable energy in Britain – which is the lowest in Europe – through a system known as the “clean energy cashback“, or feed-in tariff.

In July last year the government unveiled the scheme which has been used successfully for years in other European countries and pays above-market rates for green electricity produced by consumers.

But the proposed tariff levels for power produced by small wind turbines, solar panels and micro hydro schemes were criticised by green campaigners as not being high enough to encourage businesses, households and communities to invest.

A YouGov survey of more than 2,000 people carried out for Friends of the Earth (FoE), the Renewable Energy Association (REA) and the Cooperative Group shows two-thirds of people think that the government's plans are not ambitious enough, while 71% of homeowners said they would consider installing green energy systems if they were paid enough cash. The Department of Energy and Climate Change is expected to announce the tariff levels next week.