Home solar panels

Less than a third aware of home energy subsidies in UK

Less than one third of Britons are aware of government subsidies for solar panels at home, a survey has revealed.

Just 32 per cent of consumers interviewed knew about feed-in tariffs (FiT) supporting the use of solar panels and over half of those aware said they did not understand the programme, according to the poll conducted by French electric equipment supplier Rexel.

"We, as an electric equipment supplier, our partners and the government have a responsibility to bring this information to the public," said Brian Smithers, business development director for Rexel UK & Ireland.

Since April 2010 the government has provided funding for small-scale renewable energy projects, including solar power, which homeowners can make use of by installing domestic energy technology.

Until the end of June, more than 40,000 solar installations made use of the FiT scheme, according to energy watchdog Ofgem figures, but only 13 per cent of Rexel's survey respondents said they understood the programme well.

However 94 per cent of interviewees said energy efficiency was important, while 87 per cent said they paid attention to their energy consumption.

The survey also showed Britons and Americans agree that the prospect of saving money through energy efficiency was the strongest incentive, while French and Germans are more concerned about saving the environment.

Britons are more aware of the roll out of energy measurement smart meters to all homes in their country by the end of 2018, with 65 per cent saying they had heard of the plan.

But a separate survey by UK energy supplier E.ON showed just one third of its poll respondents knew what a smart meter does, with some consumers believing it was an electronic device that lets you make face-to-face calls with your energy supplier.

E.ON aims to install one million smart meters by the end of March 2014 and has opened a smart meter contact centre to inform customers.

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