Only 35 per cent of people own a smart meter, the latest Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) public attitudes tracker has found.

The results of the March 2019 (wave 29) tracker, published yesterday (9 May), reveal that awareness of smart meters reached a peak of 88 per cent, having gradually increased over the course of the survey.

Robert Cheesewright, director of corporate affairs at Smart Energy GB, said: “The findings further support our own research from March 2019 which found near universal knowledge of smart meters.

“Over 14 million smart devices have already been installed and a further 13 million people have said they would seek out or accept an upgrade in the next six months.

“These latest findings show that our campaign for a smarter Britain is energising millions of consumers to bring their energy under control and help the country as a whole tackle climate change and the dangers of poor air quality.”

The deadline for energy suppliers to offer every home a smart meter is fast-approaching and the rollout is currently scheduled to end next year.

Support for renewable energy meanwhile was at an all-time high, with support for solar (89 per cent), offshore wind (83 per cent), wave and tidal (82 per cent), and onshore wind energy (79 per cent) all increasing since September 2018 and reaching their highest levels since the survey started.

Responding to the news Emma Pinchbeck, executive director of Renewable UK, said: “The government is being told by industry, consumer groups, the National Infrastructure Commission, its own climate advisers, devolved governments, international investors and now a record breaking 79 per cent of the public and billpayers, to change their policies and support onshore wind.

“What exactly is stopping them? In a climate emergency, we need to use every tool in the box.”

Referencing Britain’s full week without coal the Renewable Energy Association said public support for renewables remains high but mass rollout is being held back by government policy.

Nina Skorupska, chief executive of the Renewable Energy Association said: “Records for coal free hours are being broken on a regular basis and public support for renewables continues to rise. The only aspect not aligned with the mass deployment of renewables and rapid decarbonisation of the UK is government policy.

“In order to meet legally binding climate targets and adhere to the advice of their own independent advisers, the government must prioritise the introduction of reliable, long-term and investible polices that will unlock a route to market for all renewables.”

Climate change was another topic which was scrutinised, with more people responding they were concerned than ever before.

In total 80 per cent of respondents said they were either fairly concerned (45 per cent) or very concerned (35 per cent).

Last week the government’s climate change watchdog concluded in a report that the UK can cut greenhouse gas emissions to zero by 2050 but only if existing policies are ramped up, including bringing forward the date of the proposed ban on the sale of diesel and petrol vehicles.

The Committee on Climate Change’s advice on meeting the “net zero” target, said that it can be achieved by the middle of the century.

The tracker also revealed that 28 per cent said they were worried about paying for their energy bills, largely in line with the March 2018 results (30 per cent).

Only 7 per cent however were more worried about paying for energy bills than both food and other household shopping bills and transport costs.

Customers were most likely to trust suppliers to provide a bill which accurately reflects energy use (71 per cent) and to provide a breakdown of the components of their bill (69 per cent).

Levels of trust in energy suppliers were lower this year than the previous year, with customers saying they were less likely to trust suppliers to improve their home to make it more energy efficient, with only 49 per cent agreeing to this.

Just over half (53 per cent) said they were less likely to trust suppliers to inform customers about their best tariff.

Switching has also increased, with 20 per cent of people saying they had switched energy supplier in the last year.

This has gradually increased from 15 per cent in March 2016 to the highest level since the survey started in March 2012.