UK: New research conducted by utility and environmental consultancy Gemserv has identified huge demand from British households to ‘Go Green’ and produce their own energy.
Gemserv’s study of over 2000 British adults found that 61 percent of homeowners would consider installing means to generating their own energy, whether that is by using solar PV panels, installing air source heat pumps, using biomass fuel or harnessing the power of nature by using hydro power.
Experts have dubbed the gulf between consumers’ eagerness to embrace renewable energy technologies and their lack of knowledge about it - ‘The Green Gap’. If we were able to bridge the ‘Green Gap’ we could potentially save approximately 15 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
Despite the UK’s appetite for renewable energy, Gemserv’s research found that the widespread lack of awareness about installation, cost savings and benefits is stopping people from reducing their carbon footprints.
In these challenging economic times, expense was understandably a big consideration, 57 percent of homeowners who would not consider installing any of the renewable initiatives from a list they were shown said it is too expensive and 32 percent of people were unsure how much money they could save and/or earn from renewable energy sources. A further 65 percent of Brits weren’t aware of the government’s financial incentive for generating renewable energy.
There is also considerable confusion around the government’s landmark Green Deal. With the majority of consumers (54 percent) unable to correctly identify that the Deal is related to energy efficiency initiatives. Worryingly, 14 percent of consumers thought the Green Deal related to protecting national forests and outdoor spaces and 9 percent, increasing the number of hybrid cars on the UK roads.
Gemserv’s research also indicated that there is more to do to gain consumer buy-in to the government’s Carbon Plan, as there is still a sizeable proportion of the population that remains unmoved by environmental concerns. The UK’s 26 million homes are responsible for 14 percent of its greenhouse gas emissions, yet, over a quarter (28 percent) 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.
CEO of Gemserv David Thorne says: “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.”