Switched on or switched off? Public attitudes to the UK’s energy challenges
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Switched on or switched off? Public attitudes to the UK’s energy challenges

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The challenges facing the energy sector are immense, from taking action on climate change to providing an affordable supply. The Environment Research team at Ipsos MORI has undertaken research into ...

The challenges facing the energy sector are immense, from taking action on climate change to providing an affordable supply. The Environment Research team at Ipsos MORI has undertaken research into these challenges for a range of clients from Academics to Government and the Energy Industry. Edward Langley, head of Ipsos MORI's Environment research team, and his colleague Antonia Dickman, shared some of their insights from this research as part of University College London’s Energy Seminar series.

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Switched on or switched off? Public attitudes to the UK’s energy challenges Switched on or switched off? Public attitudes to the UK’s energy challenges Presentation Transcript

  • Paste co-brand logo here Switched on or switched off? Public attitudes to the UK’s energy challenges Edward Langley, Head of Environment Research, Ipsos MORI Antonia Dickman, Associate Director, Ipsos MORI © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Public Use 15/10/2013
  • What we will cover today What the public think about the… 1. Key challenges facing the UK energy sector 2. Acceptability of renewables and nuclear as a way of meeting the UK’s energy supply needs 3. Willingness to help address energy demand issues and the levers to encourage behaviour change © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • We will discuss findings from a range of research studies © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • What do the public think about the key challenges facing the energy sector? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Government and industry face significant challenges Climate change mitigation Affordable supply Low carbon economy Energy security © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • The public believe the climate is changing and are concerned, but the proportions are falling Q. As far as you know, do you personally think the world’s climate is changing, or not? % Yes % No % Don’t know 4%5% 6% 9% 15% 19% 2005 2010 2013 72% 78% 91% Q. How concerned, if at all, are you about climate change, sometimes referred to as ‘global warming’? 82% © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public 71% Bases: 2013: 973 British adults, aged 15 and over, 8th - 26th March 2013; 2010: 1,822 British adults, aged 15 and over, 6th January - 26th March 2010; 2005: 1,491 British adults, aged 15 and over, 1st October – 6th November 2005 60% Source: Nuclear Power, Ipsos MORI/Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
  • Why has there been a fall in concern? Source: The Sun, 22nd Jan 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • It’s the Economy stupid! Q. What do you see as the most/other important issues facing Britain today? Top mentions % Economy Unemployment Race relations/Immigration NHS Defence/foreign affairs Crime/Law and order Education/schools Poverty/Inequality Inflation/Prices Housing Base: 967 British adults 18+, 8th – 12th August 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Environment (4%) Source: Ipsos MORI Issues Index
  • Issues Facing Britain: Pollution / Environment Q. What do you see as the most/other important issues facing Britain today? Cameron becomes PM Wettest Autumn since records began – widespread flooding across the UK Cameron’s “Vote Blue, go Green” campaign at 2006 local elections EC proposes carbon emission cuts of 20% by 2020 Buncefield Oil Depot fire – toxic cloud reaches northern Spain Base: representative sample of c.1,000 British adults age 18+ each month, interviewed face-to-face in home © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Stern report Source: Ipsos MORI Issues Index
  • The environment is less of a priority across the board % Important issues facing Great Britain today is “Pollution/Environment” 25% 20% 15% 10% 5% 0% 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 Source: Ipsos MORI Issues Index, 1996-2012 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Public express doubts about the shift to a low carbon economy “Our world is changing. In a time of recession, investment in developing greener forms of energy will create new jobs and economic opportunities.” © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public How many jobs? For whom? Not for people like me? What about people losing jobs in conventional energy sector?
  • Public definitely agree there is an affordability issue Over four in five consumers … …are concerned about their household energy bills (84%*) …want to reduce energy usage (81%**) © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public *Source: Ipsos MORI / DECC Base: 2,817 British adults aged 18+ at least partly responsible for paying household energy bills, 5th April – 2nd May 2013 **Source: Cardiff University / UKERC/ Ipsos MORI Base: 2,441 British adults, aged 15 and over, 2nd-12th August 2012
  • Security of supply is also a significant concern for Brits % Concerned that in the future… The UK will become too dependent on energy from other countries 81% Supplies of fossil fuels (e.g. coal and gas) will run out 78% But climate change or not, fossil fuels are going to run out. So I do use low energy bulbs. I have double glazing, insulation and cavity walls. There is not much more I can do … other than train myself to put only one cup in the kettle. Base:1,822 British adults, aged 15 and over, 6th January-26 March 2010 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Cardiff University / UKERC / Ipsos MORI
  • Brits care much more than most about energy security Q. What are the three most important environmental issues in your country? % Future energy sources and supplies Sweden Germany Great Britain Japan USA South Korea Australia South Africa Spain Belgium Italy Canada Poland France China Turkey Hungary Argentina Indonesia Saudi Arabia India Mexico Russia Brazil 58 56 50 50 50 42 39 36 36 35 35 33 30 28 27 27 25 23 23 19 12 8 7 4 Base: Between 500-1010 respondents per country, February 2 - 14 2011 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Ipsos Global @dvisor
  • What does this mean for public perceptions of theof What does this mean for public perceptions steps energy address the we need to take to challenges? UK’s energy challenges? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • How acceptable are renewables and nuclear as a way of meeting the UK’s energy supply needs? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • While renewables are favoured over fossil fuels, support has declined Q. How favourable or unfavourable are your overall opinions or impressions of the following energy sources for producing electricity currently? % Very/fairly favourable Solar Hydro Wind Gas Biomass 2013 2010 Nuclear 2005 Oil Coal © Ipsos MORI Bases: 2013: 973 British adults, aged 15 and over, 8th - 26th March 2013; 2010: 1,822 British adults, aged 15 and over, 6th January - 26th March 2010; 2005: 1,491 Version 1 | Public British adults, aged 15 and over, 1st October – 6th November 2005 Source: Nuclear Power, Ipsos MORI/Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
  • Benefits of nuclear power outweighing risks for public Risks outweigh benefits Benefits outweigh risks How concerned, if at all, are you about nuclear power? 2005 Q. From what you know or have heard about using nuclear power for generating electricity in Britain, on balance, which of these statements, if any, most closely reflects your own opinion? 2010 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public 28 31 16 13 38 % Very/fairly concerned 34 Bases: 2013: 973 British adults, aged 15 and over, 8th - 26th March 2013; 2010: 1,822 British adults, aged 15 and over, 6th January - 26th March 2010; 2005: 1,491 British adults, aged 15 and over, 1st October – 6th Source: Nuclear Power, Ipsos MORI/Cardiff November 2005 University/UKERC, 2013
  • On balance public likely to support replacing our nuclear power stations, but some work to be done to convince more 42% 33% support oppose 55% agree “if we had safer nuclear power stations, I’d be prepared to support new ones being built” Q. To what extent do you support or oppose the building of new nuclear power stations in Britain to replace those being phased out over the next few years? This would ensure that the previous proportion of nuclear energy is retained. Base: 973 British adults, aged 15 and over, 8th - 26th March 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Nuclear Power, Ipsos MORI/Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
  • And still NIMBY attitude towards nuclear Oppose building in local area (5 miles from home) 54% 21% Base: 2,441 British adults, aged 15 and over, 2nd-12th August 2012 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Energy Systems, Ipsos MORI / Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
  • Climate change may not be most effective frame for communicating on energy choices with the public Q. To what extent do you agree or disagree….. “I am willing to accept the building of new nuclear power stations if it would help to tackle climate change” © Ipsos MORI Bases: 2013: 973 British adults, aged 15 and over, 8th - 26th March 2013; 2010: 1,822 British adults, aged 15 and over, 6th January - 26th March 2010; 2005: 1,491 British adults, aged 15 and over, 1st October – 6th Source: Nuclear Power, Ipsos MORI/Cardiff November 2005 Version 1 | Public University/UKERC, 2013
  • Public preferences for UK energy mix • Renewables and nuclear understood to be part of the solution • Support for renewables is falling, however, perhaps due to: • increasing concern for impact on billing • weakening concern for climate change • Despite support, there is still public concern about safety of nuclear power  Need to re-frame renewables as a way of tackling energy security, and not as way of meeting climate change targets  Need balanced debate about risks posed by nuclear power © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • What are the public willing to do to help address energy demand? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Gas is still the default option for heating our homes Q. If you were going to replace your current heating system, what types of heating system would you consider to heat both your home and hot water? 81% 3% © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public 3% Base: All GB homeowners aged 18+ who do not currently heat their home mainly using a GSHP, ASHP, biomass boiler or heat network (2,848), 28th Source: More Efficient Heating Study, Ipsos MORI / DECC, 2013 August to 14th October 2012
  • We do have aspirations to reduce how much we use 74% I have tried to reduce the amount of energy I use at home 59% I think there is more I could do to reduce the amount of energy I use at home “I do think about how much it’s going to cost me [and] I was brought up not to waste things unnecessarily or using things for the sake of using them.” Householder aged 70+, CERT evaluation (DECC/Ipsos MORI) Base: 2,210 British adults aged 18+ at least partly responsible for paying household energy bills, 5th April – 2nd May 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Smart meter tracker, Ipsos MORI / DECC, 2013
  • But some concern about loss of control? % Acceptable % Unacceptable …automatically turning off if left on standby for long time …turning off after set period of time (e.g. 10 mins) …switched off by electricity network operator for short periods of time Base: 2,441 British adults, aged 15 and over, 2nd-12th August 2012 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Energy Systems, Ipsos MORI / Cardiff University, UKERC, 2013
  • Responsibility firmly placed on Government “Mainly responsible for ensuring appropriate changes are made to UK energy system over next 40 years” 54% © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Base: 2,441 British adults, aged 15 and over, 2nd-12th August 2012 Source: Energy Systems, Ipsos MORI / Cardiff University/UKERC, 2013
  • What levers are there to encourage less energy intensive behaviours? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • COM-B model of behaviour change Behaviour occurs as an interaction between three necessary conditions... © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Michie et al (2011) Implementation Science
  • There are many interventions targeting these levers © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • In terms of broad principles the public support the Government providing information, incentives and direct action on business Thinking about using the planet's resources in a sustainable way (i.e. in a way that protects the quality of life of future generations), what, if anything, should Government do? Strongly / tend to support (%) Provide information on how to live more sustainably 90 Provide incentives to live more sustainably 90 Make companies be more sustainable 87 Ban the most unsustainable products 55 Make unsustainable products more expensive 54 Not get involved in whether or not people choose to live sustainably 40 Base: 1,014 British adults aged 16-64, surveyed online between 4th – 22nd November 2010 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Real-time information powerful tool Q. In the last six months, would you say the frequency with which you do the following behaviours has increased, decreased, stayed about the same or do you not know? Looked at RTD Not looked at RTD % who increased their behaviour Turning off lights when they aren’t needed 32 19 Turning off unused appliances (televisions/ computers) rather than leaving them on standby Unplugging chargers when they are not in use Only boiling the kettle with as much water as you need © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public 31 18 26 16 22 15 Base: Base varies depending on how many customers have the appliance. ‘Not looked at RTD’ includes customers who have not received or installed their RTD. 18 November – 17 December 2010 Source: Ipsos MORI/ERA, 2010
  • Consumers respond well to real-time information “It jumps right up when I put the kettle on from 3p to 47p so you can really see how much it adds to your bill doing different things.” “You see it when you come in and you think 'oh yes must turn off the lights'. It prompts you to keep up with those kind of actions.” © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public “I do glance at it every time I come to the sink.” Source: Ipsos MORI/ERA, 2010
  • There are differing levels of interest in smart meters Q. To what extent would you be interested, or not, in having a smart meter installed in your home in the near future? Very interested Fairly interested Not very interested Not at all interested Don't know April 2012 9 32 25 28 5 Oct 2012 9 31 27 27 5 April 2013 9 30 28 31 Base: Adults aged 18+ who are at least partly responsible for paying household energy bills and have not had a smart meter installed: Wave 1 (2,267), 30th March – 26th April 2012; Wave 2 (2,049) 5th – 20th October 2012: Wave 3 (1,984) 5th April – 2nd May 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Smart meter tracker, Ipsos MORI / DECC, 2012/2013 2
  • Although expected to help households budget and to avoid wasted energy use Q. What, if anything, do you think you would benefit from if you had a smart meter installed in your home? (spontaneous) Base: 2,210 British adults aged 18+ at least partly responsible for paying household energy bills, 5th April – 2nd May 2013 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public Source: Smart meter tracker, Ipsos MORI / DECC, 2013
  • Power of social norms and trusted sources “There were so many houses in the area getting done... Once you’ve seen the van you just followed suit.” CERT customer, North Shields “A lot more people were getting it done, and you cannot think I’m right and they’re all wrong.” CERT customer, North Shields “I knew if the council was in the scheme there wasn’t going to be any hidden charges.” CERT customer, North Shields Source: CERT Evaluation, Ipsos MORI/DECC, 2011 © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Where does this leave us? © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Some clear preferences, but also some challenges Public would like our future energy system to involve… • Renewables, and probably nuclear • Improved energy efficiency • Assistance budgeting and ensuring an affordable supply But significant challenges remain… • • • • Gas remains most popular way to heat homes Reluctance to lose control of home energy use NIMBY attitude to nuclear Responsibility firmly placed on Government © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • For more information please contact: Edward Langley Edward.langley@ipsos.com, 020 7347 3154 Antonia Dickman antonia.dickman@ipsos.com, 020 7347 3157 Paste co-brand logo here Public Use © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public
  • Links to published reports with further discussion of the findings presented here: Ipsos MORI research for Department of Energy and Climate Change - Public Awareness, Attitudes and Experience of Smart Meters (2013) http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/researcharchive/3033/Public-AwarenessAttitudes-and-Experience-of-Smart-Meters.aspx Ipsos MORI research for Department of Energy and Climate Change – Homeowners’ willingness to take up more efficient heating systems (2013) http://www.ipsos-mori.com/researchpublications/publications/1612/DECC-Taking-up-moreefficient-heating-systems.aspx Cardiff University / Ipsos MORI research for UKERC – Transforming the UK energy system: Public values, Attitudes and Acceptability (2013) http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/article3045-New-UKERC-research-defines-values-whichdetermine-public-acceptance-of-energy-system-change Cardiff University / Ipsos MORI research for UKERC – Public Attitudes to Nuclear Power and Climate Change in Britain Two Years after the Fukushima Accident (2013) http://www.ukerc.ac.uk/support/article3253-British-public-split-on-nuclear-power © Ipsos MORI Version 1 | Public