Most consumers would be willing to pay more for clean energy, the survey found
Poll of more than 2,000 adults by comparethemarket.com finds significant consumer appetite for clean energy tariffs
More than 70 per cent of consumers would be willing to spend more money on their energy bills if it meant their supplier used only renewable sources, a survey of more than 2,000 people suggests.
Despite more than 80 per cent of households currently sourcing their energy from the ‘Big Six’ suppliers, the results of a poll released today by comparison website comparethemarket.com suggest the majority of consumers would prefer to switch to companies providing 100 per cent clean energy.
According to the results, 58 per cent of survey respondents admitted they would prefer to use a provider using only renewable sources of energy over one which did not, while as many as 73 per cent said they would actually be willing to pay more for their energy from a 100 per cent clean energy supplier.
The poll findings demonstrate significant consumer appetite for clean energy, although studies and data increasingly show that costs of generating power from the likes of solar and wind are rapidly plummeting, and are in some cases already cost competitive with or even cheaper than fossil fuel sources such as coal and gas.
It comes in the wake of the government’s recently announced energy costs review to be led by Oxford academic Professor Dieter Helm, who is tasked with investigating how the energy industry and policymakers can keep the bill costs as low as possible. The findings are expected to be published by the end of October.
Yet today’s poll results found the majority of respondents – 52 per cent – do not believe the Helm review will actually help to lower energy bills.
Peter Earl, head of energy at comparethemarket.com, said the findings further underlined that the UK’s energy market is “broken”.
“The fact that so many people are paying over the odds for energy that they would prefer to get from suppliers generating that energy via renewable sources indicates a serious lack of engagement and a disconnect between what people want and what they pay for,” said Earl. “Furthermore, people clearly have little faith in the government to do something about the problem of soaring bills and providing more renewable energy.”
The comparison website has also been working with think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) on a report looking at consumer engagement, comparing the UK’s energy market with European counterparts. The report recommended the UK introduce more incentives for solar panels, encourage systems to boost smart energy use and promote wider adoption of time-of-use tariffs to enable consumers to take advantage of periods of lower power demand.
“It is important that we learn lessons from countries that have greater consumer engagement and use the power of switching to drive down price,” added Earl.