Consumers "Too Lazy" to Switch Utilities. So Who's Going to Insulate Their Attic?
Oh dear. Recent headlines do not speak very highly of the British public's willingness to cut carbon emissions, or even save money. Despite near constant outcries about rising energy costs, it was reported recently that a full 10% of Brits are simply too lazy to insulate their homes. Now, as Business Green Reports, a Government minister has declared consumers are even too lazy to shop around for alternate energy suppliers, a practice that could save them hundreds a year. While the choice of words may have been unfortunate, says James Murray, the existence of "consumer inertia" is all too real, and if Government plans to promote energy efficiency are to succeed, they will need to work hard to overcome it:
The government has repeatedly signalled that it is aware of the risks posed by slow take up and is working hard on measures that will help overcome this consumer inertia. They are certainly not without possibilities. Green groups and businesses are proposing a variety of measures, including tax breaks for those who improve the energy efficiency of their homes, various giveaways such as vouchers, regulations making it harder to sell inefficient homes, or tough new rules mandating councils or landlords to implement Green Deal energy efficiency makeovers.
Given the extent of our collective indolence when it comes to energy efficiency I'd guess that we will need all of the above and more if the UK is to deliver deep cuts in building energy use.