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UK homeowners left unconvinced by renewable energy

Report: Only a fifth of homeowners in UK would consider fitting solar panels, however two thirds believe in reducing carbon footprint

New research by renewable energy experts, Puragen, reveals that nine out of ten homeowners in the UK wouldn’t hesitate to shell out up to £10,000 on a new bathroom or kitchen whereas only a fifth (20 per cent) would only ever consider fitting solar panels if they had some spare cash kicking around. Interestingly though, two thirds (65 per cent) do believe it’s important to work towards reducing their carbon footprint.

The research also reveals that age is a key factor when it comes to choosing whether to invest in solar panels, with many believing they won’t live long enough to recoup the initial outlay.

The survey of 2,000 consumers found that just under a third (29 per cent) believe a distinct lack of information holds them back from embracing renewables, with 14 per cent admitting solar panels would look ugly and ruin the look of their property. Thirteen per cent say that the installation process would cause too much inconvenience and also divulge they don’t really understand the subject at all. Fifteen per cent say they worry about cowboy fitters and almost half (45 per cent) think consumers should be better advised.

Jeremy Malindine from Puragen, comments: “Although investing in solar panels does involve an initial investment, it’s a myth for example that you need bright sunshine in order to see the benefits; even on a dull day you can still generate energy from the sun and the benefits can be seen very quickly. As energy bills continue to rise, renewables provide an attractive alternative for hard-pressed homeowners looking to generate savings on their energy bills over the longer term.

“There are so many misconceptions about renewable energy and it’s interesting that our survey reveals lack of information and the threat of cowboy fitters acts as a huge deterrent. At Puragen, we are accredited to NICEIC - the UK’s leading national inspection council for electrical installation contracting and we have years of experience in the field of renewable energy so we are very well placed to offer sound advice on a case-by-case basis. What’s right for one home is not right for all. We hope to make the process much simpler and arm consumers with all the information they need to generate their own electricity.”

The typical expected lifetime of solar panels is around 25 years which is matched by the Government’s feed-in-tariff scheme. As energy bills continue to rise, becoming more energy efficient is imperative yet through a combination of government incentives and savings in energy bills, renewable energy is one home improvement that is likely to grow in value year on year.

The top ten cities that want to reduce their carbon footprint

1. = Worcester (83 per cent)

  = Wrexham (83 per cent)

3. Brighton & Hove (77 per cent)

4. Birmingham (72 per cent)

5. = Swansea (71 per cent)

   = Aberystwyth (71 per cent)

7. Cardiff (70 per cent)

8. Belfast (69 per cent)

9. Leeds (69 per cent)

10. Glasgow (68 per cent)

The renewable energy sector is one of the fastest growing in the UK as a result of government initiatives and incentive schemes including the Feed-in-Tariff, Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) and the Renewable Heat Premium Payment scheme (RHPP).

Puragen is a trading division of Ascertiva Group Ltd, one of the world’s leading third party certification companies. Established for over 50 years, its brands service business, industry and government in over 70 countries.