DEPARTMENT OF ENERGY
AND CLIMATE CHANGE News Release (Reference: 2009/045) issued by COI
News Distribution Service on 20 April 2009
published today (April 20) reveals there is strong support among
the UK public, at deliberative research events, in favour of
ambitious Government action to decarbonise the nation's
housing stock. The research, released by the Department of Energy
and Climate Change (DECC), comes ahead of the Chancellor setting
out the caps for the UK's first 3 carbon budgets.
Under the UK Government's 'Great British Refurb'
plans, at least seven million homes will have been offered
'whole-house' upgrades with energy efficiency and
micro-generation technologies by 2020, and every home by 2030 -
virtually eliminating carbon emissions from our homes. The changes
will also help keep consumers save money on their energy bills.
Research conducted by Ipsos MORI found householders are willing
to play their part in tackling climate change and decarbonising
our energy supply. As part of the 'Big Energy Shift'
engagement process, householders in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland were asked for their opinions and ideas on the challenges
facing us - with the results forming part of the Government's
long-term Heat and Energy Saving Strategy and Renewable Energy Strategy.
Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said:
"We spoke to citizens around the nation and found that there
is a strong desire for Government action. People are enthusiastic
and positive about the need for better energy efficiency in our
homes and communities. They understand that the twin threats of
climate change and security of supply means we have to get serious
about developing alternative, low-carbon sources of energy.
"The Government wants to make these changes as simple and
affordable as possible for householders - and we want people to
have a say in the process. That's why we've been holding
householder consultations with ordinary citizens coming together
to discuss the challenges we face, look at examples of energy
efficiency and micro-generation in nearby homes in their
neighbourhood, and come up with ideas and suggestions for
Government to follow.
"Today, we're bringing together Big Energy Shift
participants from across the country to share their experience and
ideas, and to tell me what they think the Government needs to be
doing in order to encourage everyone to play their part in the
fight. We're listening to what people think and responding to
Participants from nine communities in England, Wales and Northern
Ireland met together over the Spring for a series of deliberative
discussions facilitated by Ipsos MORI. The project was
commissioned and supported by DECC, the Northern Ireland
Department of Enterprise, Trade and Investment, and the Welsh
Assembly Government, and funded by Sciencewise. The aim was to
establish the basis on which the public would be prepared to take
action to install and benefit from renewable energy generation and
Participants were asked for their opinions on the types of
household technologies involved in the 'Great British
Refurb' (such as heat pumps, smart meters and solid wall
insulation), what would motivate them to make changes to their
homes, and what help the Government should be providing. They were
also asked for views on large-scale technologies such as wind
farms and district heating.
The initial findings by Ipsos MORI, released today, show that:
* Householders are concerned about climate change and energy
security/affordability - and recognise that we can't rely on
a 'business as usual' approach.
* Householders are enthusiastic and positive about the concept of
a 'Great British Refurb' - increased energy efficiency,
whole-house eco-makeovers, and the idea of generating their own
energy through microrenewables.
* People want strong leadership from Government, with set goals
and targets, and a clear explanation of what is needed from
individuals, communities and business.
* Individuals need help with the up-front costs of decarbonising
their homes through loans and grants - and they want fair targets
which take into account the diversity of the UK housing stock.
* Opposition to large-scale renewable energy projects such as
wind farms is significantly reduced once people become more aware
of the energy and climate change challenges facing the country.
More information and a copy of the report is available at http://www.bigenergyshift.org.uk.
Full findings will be released in the coming weeks, following
today's final event.
Notes To Editors:
1. The 'Great British Refurb.'
In February 2009 the Government set out the short, medium and
long-term ambitions for dramatically reducing the emissions and
reducing fuel bills of the UK's homes and buildings by 2050.
2. In summary, we aim to:
* Have provided the capacity to deliver comprehensive,
whole-house solutions to 400,000 homes a year by 2015. This
includes offering complete insulation measures, access to
low-carbon heat and power, community/district heating and options
* By 2020, have offered the delivery of whole-house solutions to
approximately 7 million homes across the UK.
* In 2020, have cut our household emissions by 33% of 2006 levels
- saving up to 50MtCO2 a year.
* By 2030 have made available cost effective, energy efficiency
measures to ALL households.
* By 2050, be near to zero emissions from households and business
premises in order to us to help achieve the overall UK goal of
cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 80% from 1990 levels.
3. The event
The Secretary of State, Ed Miliband, will be listening to the
findings from the citizens forums at the final event today (April
20th) and responding to questions from participants.
The event brings together representatives from each of the
forums, with external guests and policy officials. The aim of the
event is to:
Listen to the emerging findings from across all the forums.
Examine what this means if we are to get mass uptake and support
for the big energy shift, at a national or cultural level. To
'troubleshoot' these ideas, thinking about how this
might work on the ground.
The event will be held at The Conference Office, Church House
Conference Centre, Dean's Yard, Westminster SW1P 3NZ.
4. Technical note
Deliberative research was carried out in 9 locations across
England, Wales and Northern Ireland in February and March 2009. In
each location approximately 30 members of the general public each
attended 2 day long research events and also completed tasks in
between. This research is not statistically valid and does not
involve a representative sample of the general public. Rather it
shows the depth and strength of people's views and how they
change in the course of discussion.
Department of Energy and Climate Change
7th Floor, 3
Whitehall Place, London, SW1A 2HD
Public enquiries +44 (0)300
Textphone +44 (0)20 7215 6740 (for those with hearing impairment)