Brits worried about energy bills

February 13, 2013, 3:19 PM GMT+0

Britons are most concerned about spending on energy bills and majority have not heard of the Green Deal, according to a YouGov survey commissioned by Behaviour Change.

Energy costs are the single biggest worry for people when it comes to household spending, with 36% saying they are concerned about gas and electricity bills. This comes amid reports today that Brits could face even higher energy bills as the Chief Executive of Ofgem warns that the UK is becoming increasingly dependent on energy imports.

In comparison, 15% of Brits are worried about the cost of their mortgage and rent, closely followed by petrol bills (12%) and food bills (11%).

Energy efficiency not seen as solution

Concern over high energy bills is not translating into enthusiasm for energy efficiency, with only three in ten (30%) saying that people should install insulation to lower or stabilise the cost of energy bills. The public are far more likely to lay blame at the door of the energy companies.

  • Almost two-thirds (65%) of people think energy companies need to stop making excessive profits from their customers
  • Nearly half (49%) of the public believe that Britain needs to invest more in other sources of energy that may be less subject to fluctuating global prices
  • 48% of Brits say the government needs to force the energy companies to charge less
  • Three in ten (30%) think that people need to install measures such as insulation to make their homes more efficient
  • 28% of Brits think people need to be more careful with how much energy they use
  • Over one in five (21%) say people should shop around for the best tariffs

Public awareness of the Green Deal

The survey, which was undertaken a week after the “Green Deal” was launched, found that a majority (61%) of Brits have not heard of the government’s flagship energy-saving program, which allows households and businesses to undertake energy efficiency improvements at no immediate cost.

However, almost four in ten (39%) people say they have heard of the Green Deal, with the highest levels of awareness among men (46%) and those aged 60 and over (50%).

Green Deal will have small impact

A majority (53%) of those who have heard of the Green Deal agree that it will make a small difference in helping people make their homes more energy efficient, but almost a third (32%) think it will make no difference and only 8% believe it will make a big difference.

David Hall, Executive Director of Behaviour Change, said: “The public have not yet twigged that energy efficiency is the best way to insulate themselves against rising bills. While the Green Deal is a great start in changing this perception, more work is needed to help people understand the benefits of energy efficiency in keeping their bills under control.”

Behaviour Change is social enterprise that works with government, business and charity to make it easier for people to lead sustainable lives.

See the full survey details and results