A recent study commissioned by Engensa has announced the results from a survey conducted by TNS that examines UK consumers’ knowledge and understanding of their energy bills.

The survey indicates a distinct lack of awareness of the true cost of energy subsidies to the UK consumer. 60 percent of respondents are unsure how much UK households pay for solar energy subsidies, with only 6 percent of those surveyed correctly answering “less than £2 per year”. Over 60 percent of those surveyed admitted that they did not know to what extent a household personally subsidises solar, with 6 percent believing that it costs “more than £100 per year” to subsidise solar technology.

To further compound the confusion over the cost of energy subsidies, 65 percent of respondents did not know the average contribution to the nuclear industry; only 4 percent correctly answered that the cost of nuclear decommissioning is “more than £250 per year.” The actual cost each UK household pays for nuclear decommissioning is £266.

The survey also highlighted that the overwhelming majority (89 percent) of those surveyed believed that it is important or vitally important to generate electricity from renewable sources in the next five-to-ten years. The results also indicate that 77 percent of British bill-payers would prefer to produce free energy from renewable sources rather than fossil fuels from utility companies.

UK consumers blame the 14 percent rise in energy bills during 2011 on the excessive profiteering of the utility companies, with 67 percent answering that “utility companies are overcharging.”

Toby Darbyshire, CEO of Engensa said: “The results of this survey show that homeowners don’t realise that the solar subsidy in the UK only costs £2 per year. It would be tragic if the current proposals to halve the subsidy go ahead.

“People are not aware that the nuclear industry costs UK taxpayers hundreds of pounds more than solar does, and that solar energy will be cheaper than nuclear in just a few years.”

The survey goes someway to indicate the confusion facing consumers over the true cost of subsidising green energy, without those at DECC further muddying the waters with claims of £80 being added to bills without the FiT cut.

The solar industry will feel aggrieved that the subsidies for solar are being cut in half in light of the excessive subsidy commanded by supporting nuclear energy and the overwhelming support from the British public to implement renewable generation technologies.

Darbyshire concluded: “Solar is not only affordable for homeowners but it offers freedom from growing electricity bills and creates tens of thousands of jobs.”