According to findings from a new survey panel, calling UK residents to sign up to help shape the future of the energy sector, almost half of the respondents aren’t aware that gas boilers are one of the main ways households contribute to climate change.
The Home Truths panel revealed that 47% of people surveyed were not aware of the environmental impact of gas boilers, which are responsible for almost a fifth (17%) of CO2 emissions through keeping our homes and workplaces warm and maintaining a supply of hot water.
Home Truths is inviting people to have their say on a range of energy-related issues by responding to a series of online surveys. The panel will help businesses gain feedback on new ideas, propositions and products related to how people consume energy and influence key decision-makers in the sector.
New members will receive a £5 voucher reward for completing their first survey, which can be done within a matter of minutes. Free to join, people can sign up by visiting www.hometruths.org and filling out a consent form.
The Home Truths panel was set up by not-for-profit innovation centre Energy Systems Catapult (ESC), which aims to unleash innovation in the energy sector by finding solutions to some of the most difficult problems the industry faces.
Matt Lipson, Consumer Insight Business Lead at Energy Systems Catapult, said: “To successfully meet the challenge of moving to a net zero economy, the UK energy market must be designed to deliver the experiences that people want and need.
“Our intention is that the insight uncovered by our Home Truths panel will inform how the energy sector adapts, delivering innovations that work for consumers, industry and government.
“Anyone with an interest in playing an active role in shaping the future of UK energy can sign up to our regular surveys and be rewarded for their time - we hope that people will join us.”
ESC research demonstrates that consumers should be at the heart of a future, low carbon energy system, particularly when it involves potentially significant changes to their lifestyles. As part of that, ESC is currently testing innovative ways of buying and selling energy in its Living Lab, made up of real homes fitted with smart home technology expected to be commonplace by the mid-2020s.
Trials include replacing kilowatt hours, which few people understand, with ‘Warm Hours’ where consumers pay a fixed hourly, daily or weekly price, whatever the weather, to have their homes as warm as they like, when they like.
ESC recently produced a report commissioned by the Committee on Climate Change called Living Carbon Free, looking at how the UK can meet its new net zero targets. The report highlighted what actions may need to be taken by government, businesses and individuals to achieve this target, looking specifically at heat, transport, electricity use, aviation, diet and waste.
According to ESC, heat decarbonisation will require improvements to the fabric of UK homes and adoption of low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, district heating and hydrogen boilers. Smart control systems can ensure these solutions provide the experience households want, while local area planning will be essential to ensure low carbon solutions are tailored to each area to minimise costs.
The Home Truths survey findings will aim to supplement the work that ESC does and provide insight to energy sector which will in turn help to shape decisions taken in the future.