Smart meters are at the heart of the government’s plan to improve energy efficiency in homes – but almost half would refuse to have one
(Image: Leon Neal/Getty Images)
More than eight in 10 households are still awaiting government advice on how to help their homes become more energy efficient, according to an industry report.
The figures show a wide disparity between households and the government’s ‘net zero’ strategy, which has resulted in an industry white paper calling for urgent action to benefit the least energy efficient and energy poor households.
Only 16% of respondents felt they had received clear advice from government on how to make their property more energy efficient.
Low-income households are the least engaged when it comes to energy efficiency, with just 9% of the demographic claiming to have received clear enough advice on how to reduce their energy waste.
However, this affects almost half (47%) of higher-income households.
Renters were also left out in the cold, with 46% believing they could not make or request minor changes.
And that’s despite new laws being introduced in 2018 that allow tenants to make energy efficiency improvements.
The survey of 5,000 homes constitutes Utilita Energy’s first “Household Energy Behavior Index” to better understand the nation’s energy behavior and attitudes toward homes.
Archie Lasseter, head of sustainability at the energy company, said: “If every household were given help to reduce their energy waste, that would equate to 14% of the total carbon savings needed to reach net-zero by 2050 under the Climate Change Committee’s option to achieve 3” versus the business-as-usual “do nothing” scenario from the sixth carbon budget.
“This is a huge impact that has so far been overlooked by government – even though every energy supplier is able to help their customers reduce energy waste without spending a penny on home improvements.”
The study found that although 71% of households now want to reduce their energy consumption, only 43% plan to “spend to save” as required by the government.
However, the average amount they are willing to spend over the next 12 months is just £148 – and 31% are only interested in the free savings opportunities.
The government’s top-heavy ‘donate to save’ message reaches 18% intending to buy ‘big’ items like an electric vehicle, heat pump or solar technology.
With the smart meter at the heart of government plans to improve energy engagement at home, the report examined the current adoption landscape.
It showed that 38% claim not to own a smart meter – and 45% of them would refuse one anyway.
The main objections were “I don’t need it” (22%), “not enough benefits” (21%) and “too intrusive” (11%).
Derek Lickorish, former chair of energy poverty charity National Energy Action, said: “The biggest obstacle for households to become ‘smart’ seems to be poor communication campaigns related to adoption.
“Far too many households still believe that there are not enough – if any – tangible benefits of a smart meter.
“The government is aware that smart meters and the information they generate can help every household save up to a fifth of their energy consumption, but so far they have failed to communicate this.”
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/uk-news/government-advice-energy-efficient-households-27085662 Most households are still awaiting government advice on how to become more energy efficient