31 January 2014
As the Government’s Big Energy Saving Week comes to a close, a new survey highlights that an alarmingly low proportion of people plan to take any action to make their homes more energy efficient during 2014.
The survey, for the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET), shows just nine per cent of people are considering installing solar panels. Only six per cent are likely to have their home cavity wall insulated and only nine per cent are likely to install double glazing.
Meanwhile, heat pumps, which use heat from the ground or the air rather than burning fuel to generate heat, are only being considered by five per cent of households.
Some of these measures are relatively expensive, which may explain why people are reluctant to adopt them, But even LED light bulbs, which are a simple and low cost energy efficiency measure, are only being considered by one in four (25 per cent) of home owners.
The results highlight the need to do more to ensure that Government support, which is currently available through the Green Deal, incentivises home owners to make energy-saving improvements to their homes.
Marjan Sarshar from the IET said: “People are not planning to spend money on energy efficiency because the returns are too intangible and the long term Green Deal loan remains with the house.
“The Government needs to make energy efficiency measures more accessible. They could be incentivised in a similar manner to the Government’s policy on cars whereby more energy efficient cars pay less tax.
"A substantive reduction in Council Tax, which would remain with the property to add to its value, would encourage the uptake of Green Deal.
“In this way the householders would see the tangible benefit and would be more likely to respond by making their own investments.”
The survey, of 2,011 adults aged 16-75 in Great Britain, was carried out by Ipsos Mori on behalf of the IET.