Homeowners look to renewable heat alternatives

A survey by YouGen has found that 85% of homeowners would consider a renewable heat alternative if their boilers broke down.

Those surveyed were open to a range of technologies with the most popular alternatives being solar hot water and air source heat pumps.

YouGen questioned homeowners on the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) but while respondents had heard of it they were vague about the details. Only 15% said they clearly understood the scheme.

Motivations for considering low carbon alternatives, were unsurprisingly, financial. 73% said grants and a desire to pay lower energy bills would encourage them to consider renewable energy solutions.

A significant proportion of those surveyed , however, did cite concerns about climate change and energy security and a desire to reduce their own carbon emissions as an important factor.

What put people off was the cost and disruption of installation. Only a quarter of respondents said affordable loans were of interest.

YouGen founder, Cathy Debenham, said: "I was really surprised at how many people had heard about the renewable heat incentive, but our questions also show that there's work to be done in increasing people's understanding of it.

"I understand that the difficulties of measuring heat generated in a domestic situation is one of the problems DECC is struggling with in relation to how the RHI might work at a domestic level.

"Given the complications of the RHI at small scale, maybe they should reconsider grants, given that nearly three quarters of people would be encouraged to install by a grant." Alison Brown


| DECC | solar


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