Hard-up Brits still trying to figure out how to make their homes more energy efficient, survey finds
MORE than eight in 10 households are still waiting for advice from the government on how to help their homes become more energy efficient, according to an industry report.
The figures reveal a major disconnect between households and the Government’s ‘net zero’ strategy and has resulted in an industry white paper calling for urgent action in the interest of the least energy efficient and fuel poor households.
Of those polled, just 16 per cent felt they had received clear advice from the Government on how they can make their property more energy efficient.
Lower income households are the least energy-efficiency engaged, with only nine per cent of the demographic claiming to have received clear enough advice on ways to cut their energy wastage.
But this rises to 47 per cent of higher income households.
Renters have also been left out in the cold with 46 per cent assuming they cannot make or request any non-essential changes.
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This is despite new legislation introduced in 2018 allowing tenants to make energy efficiency improvements.
The survey of 5,000 households forms Utilita Energy’s inaugural ‘Household Energy Behaviour Index’, to better understand the nation’s home energy behaviours and attitudes.
Archie Lasseter, sustainability lead at the energy supplier, said “If every household was given help to reduce their energy waste, this would equate to 14 per cent of the total carbon savings required to achieve net zero by 2050 under the Climate Change Committee’s ‘option 3’ vs the business-as-usual “do nothing” scenario from the sixth carbon budget.
“This is a huge impact that has so far been overlooked by the Government – despite every energy supplier having the power to help their customers cut energy wastage without spending a single penny on home improvements.”
The study found that despite 71 per cent of households wanting to cut their energy usage today, only 43 per cent plan to ‘spend to save’ as encouraged by the Government.
However, the average amount they are prepared to spend in the next 12 months is only £148.
And 31 per cent would only like to see the free ways in which they can save.
The government’s top-heavy ‘spend to save’ message is hitting 18 per cent, who intend to purchase ‘big ticket’ items such as an electric vehicle, heat pump or solar technology.
With the smart meter being central to the government’s plans to improve home energy engagement, the report has investigated the current adoption landscape.
It revealed 38 per cent claim to not own a smart meter, and 45 per cent of those would refuse one anyway.
The main objections were ‘don’t need one’ (22 per cent), ‘not enough benefits’ (21 per cent), and ‘too intrusive’ (11 per cent).
Derek Lickorish, former chairman of fuel poverty charity National Energy Action, said:
“The biggest barrier to households becoming ‘smart-enabled’ appears to be poor communication campaigns associated with the rollout.
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“Far too many households still believe there aren’t enough – or any – tangible benefits to having a smart meter.
“The Government is well-aware that smart meters and the intel they generate can help every household save as much as a fifth of their energy usage, but so far they have failed to communicate this.”
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