The research shows that 54 percent of residential customers worry that the UK’s mandated rollout of smart meters in some 30 million homes will result in higher bills despite the government’s estimates that the devices will result in £7 billion in energy savings. According to the survey, just 8 percent of consumers would be willing to pay a premium for products or services that increase their energy efficiency, while 70 percent say that they either wouldn’t pay anything extra at all or would only be willing to pay less than the amount they expected to save.
Businesses were equally disengaged, with only one in three firms saying energy efficiency was a high priority in 2011—compared with one in two in 2010—with 35 percent of firms claiming to have no plans to invest in energy efficiency initiatives.
Tim Lovejoy, Head of Energy for T-Systems in the UK, expresses concern over the findings. “The UK needs to manage down energy demand but the government is running out of time to convince people to change behaviour. Both government and the energy industry should shift the focus to propositions that will deliver consumer benefits quickly and encourage consumers to take further energy saving steps. We need to offer consumers and business users compelling reasons to take action to deliver energy efficiency. Education and awareness-raising have their place, but saving money and controlling costs will be the keys to incentivising changes in behaviour.”
The report also found that cost control is the key reason for cutting energy use; consumers believe the UK’s rollout of smart meters will end up costing them money; future efficiency gains will need to be made without adding to consumers’ current energy bills; and inter in energy efficiency is waning in light of other more pressing concerns.
The full report can be found at: http://img.en25.com/Web/TSystemsUK/Chasing%20the%20negawatt%20T-Systems%20EIU%20report%20June%202011.pdf