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Britons know how to be green, but many can’t afford it



The majority of UK householders know about the importance of energy efficiency, but either cannot afford green measures or do not care enough to change their lifestyle, according to a new survey.

The study, carried out by energy supplier Npower, showed that nearly 90% of the people interviewed had heard about energy efficiency measures and 72% were aware they could save them money.

However, around 40% of interviewees said they cannot afford to be energy efficient, while 22% say they lack the motivation to revolutionize their house.

David Titterton, green deal and obligations director at Npower said, “On the one hand, UK homeowners are taking steps to cut their energy and reduce their bills, but there is little engagement in long-term planning, particularly when it comes to self-generation technology such as solar panels and ground source heat pumps.

“While part of this naturally derives from the different levels of investment needed to install these improvements, there is also a lack of understanding as to why using renewable energy is so important.”

The survey showed that the majority of respondents think that energy efficiency simply means to save energy and only 5% believed it would help combat climate change. Most interviewees were motivated to become more energy efficient primarily in order to reduce energy bills (89%), followed by a care for the environment (45%), according to the survey.

We need a cultural change to the way we view energy waste. By using less energy and tapping into renewable sources where possible, households can reduce their energy costs both now and for years to come, as well as doing their bit to help combat climate change”, Titterton said.

Cost should not be a barrier for households looking to improve their energy efficiency. While many have taken steps to install some measures, the majority could still benefit from improvements which could be available free of charge or through the Green Deal.”

The survey showed that loft and cavity walls insulation were the most popular measures, followed by draught proofing and energy glazing. Only 5% have installed solar panels.

From insulation to boiler replacements, there are a range of simple and straightforward improvements to keep homes warmer while reducing energy usage”, Titterton added.

Further reading:

Government proposals ‘seriously undermine and damage’ green homes plans

Energy UK launches guidelines to educate customers on smart meters

Green deal has boosted energy efficiency in the UK, says government

Energy saving measures improve the value of properties, government says

Green deal causes 97% drop in cavity wall insulation numbers