Citizens Advice Scotland supports net zero, and so do the majority of people we speak to. One of our roles is to act as the representative of Scotland’s consumers, to make sure their voice is not excluded or left out of these hallowed discussions. Our research found that 65 per cent of people have no identifiable energy-efficiency measures or renewable technologies installed in their home. And only 17 per cent believe that reducing water usage should be a priority. This despite the fact that water usage, including heating water for your shower or bath, accounts for 6 per cent of all UK carbon emissions – the same amount as the aviation industry. The most worrying statistic of all is that 90 per cent of people are un-aware that the gas heating systems in their home are unlikely to use hydrogen gas, and so will likely need to be replaced if Scotland is to achieve net zero. This is so important, because moving to new heating systems is going to be one of the first, and biggest, changes that individual consumers are going to have to make. Yet this polling suggests the overwhelming majority of people in Scotland are in the dark about that. What this means is that public information and awareness strategies need to move beyond the broad goal of supporting net zero and into the more granular detail of what specific changes individual households are going to need to make to help deliver it. Our research then looked at how this shift might be enabled. In other words, what levers could be used to convince people to make the necessary changes to their homes. Respondents were asked what might deter them from installing a low-carbon heating system. Unsurprisingly, cost was the biggest concern, with 67 per cent worried about up-front costs and 55 per cent concerned about the possibility of ending up with higher energy bills.
Herald 21st July 2021 read more »