Two-thirds of people would like to see the market share of the big six energy suppliers broken up to allow cleaner, locally owned energy systems to grow, a survey has found.
Renewable energy emerged as a clear public favourite in the YouGov survey on climate change commissioned by environmental law organisation ClientEarth.
The survey found a majority of the British public (62 per cent) would install solar panels in their home if greater assistance was available.
Interestingly 60 per cent said they would install a home energy storage device, for example a home battery, if financial incentives were given.
When asked to rate energy sources the government should favour, solar was voted as the most favourable.
In response to the findings, Simon Daniel, founder and chief executive of home battery company Moixa, said: “This study shows that consumers are excited about solar, storage and any technologies that can help them cut both their bills and their carbon footprint.
“The government’s FIT [feed-in tariff] scheme has been super useful but is no-longer needed as solar is much more affordable. And today, smart batteries can help consumers make the most of their rooftop solar, by reducing their evening energy bills and providing access to emerging grid incomes.”
Offshore wind was the second favourite energy source while tidal lagoon power was in third place.
Renewable UK’s head of external affairs, Luke Clark, said: “As this poll shows, there’s huge public support for cheap onshore wind and solar so it’s high time that the government stopped blocking these technologies from competing in the energy market.
“The poll also confirms that tidal power is massively popular – we’re keen to work with ministers to find a way forward for marine energy, so that it can reach its full commercial potential.”
Coal was found to be the least favourable while gas was the second least favourable.
Almost three quarters (71 per cent) of respondents said they would be interested in joining a community energy scheme, with residents in Scotland and Wales among those most interested.
Support for the big six was found to be lacking, with over two thirds (68 per cent) saying they were in favour of breaking up the biggest energy companies’ share of the market.
Respondents said they would prefer the market share to be broken up in order to allow smaller, cleaner and locally owned energy systems to grow.
ClientEarth energy lawyer Sam Bright, said: “People want to know more and take ownership of how they get their energy – but public policy prioritises fossil fuels, propping up carbon-intensive generation with money from the public purse. Change is long overdue and it is now clear that the public want it to happen quickly.
“The price of renewables is continually coming down and leaps are being made in energy technology. Government focus needs to be on equipping people to produce their own energy, locally and cleanly, and supporting technologies that help us to consume it more smartly. It’s hard to understand why the government isn’t in more of a hurry to make this happen.”