Two thirds of Brits worried ‘greener society’ will hit them hard in the pocket

Brits want a greener society but two-thirds are worried that life is going to become more expensive, a new survey has found.

There was overwhelming support for a switch to a more sustainable lifestyle among the 2,000 UK adults asked but the view was that the government needs to make it affordable.

The view by 68% of people was that being more environmentally friendly would hit their pockets while only 43% said they would be happy to pay extra.

In fact, half of respondents admitted they're not bothered where their electricity comes from as long as it's the cheapest deal.

Taxpayer-funded electric car charging points installed at all homes was backed by 59% of people surveyed.

While more than two thirds – 70% – also think homeowners should get subsidies to have solar panels installed on their roof to create their own electricity.

And three quarters – 75% – of families think the government should provide subsidies to allow households to switch from traditional gas boilers to more sustainable heat pumps.

Overall, half of respondents in the Forbes Advisor survey said they are trying to cut down their energy usage to be both greener and save money.

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On the streets where the electric car revolution continues to take hold, 68% of people are concerned it is going to make motoring more expensive and almost 80% felt that new homes should come with charging points for the new environmentally friendly vehicles.

Kevin Pratt, energy expert from Forbes Advisor, said: "The vast majority of people want to live a more sustainable, environmentally-friendly life but there are valid, if sometimes overstated, concerns that this switch is always going to hit them in the pocket.

"Electric cars are a good example. They often carry a more expensive price tag than a petrol or diesel equivalent, but their running costs tend to be much lower.

"What is crucial is that the nation's drivers have access to an adequate, accessible and affordable charging network.

"It is fantastic to see the support for a more sustainable future, but it's clear from the research that the government will need to nudge the public with further green incentives if it is to achieve its carbon neutrality targets."

The public also has concerns that brands use the word "sustainable" as a way of hiking prices, with 75% thinking they use it as an excuse to put prices up.

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The research revealed 54% haven't switched energy suppliers over the past two years with some saying they felt they had the best offer available, others feeling that there wouldn't be much difference changing and some thinking that they couldn't be bothered moving or it was just too complicated.

Mr Pratt added: "Six in 10 of us feel our personal actions and choices contribute to a real impact on fighting climate change.

"There are little things we can do to be a little bit greener, whether it's upping our recycling game or switching to a 'green' energy tariff, where the energy supplier favours energy produced in an environmentally-friendly way, such as wind, solar, hydro, nuclear and anaerobic digestion.

"Many people assume green energy will be a more expensive option, but innovation and competition among providers mean there are many competitive eco-friendly tariffs on the market.

"That's why tariffs that use renewable energy are becoming increasingly popular with consumers. In April 2020 just 40% of tariffs were green. In April 2021 that percentage stood at 54%.

"What is certainly the case is that you can find out in about five minutes whether there is a cheaper green energy deal to suit your needs. The top 10% of customers who switched through our partner energy helpline last year saved at least £477."

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