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Energy efficiency could influence voting behaviours in the general election, with six in ten more inclined to vote for a party that supports it
Thursday, 25 January 2024, By Nicola Smith
More than three quarters (77%) of voters across ten marginal constituencies want the government to do more to help make homes more energy efficient, according to research carried out by former Downing Street pollsters at J.L. Partners.
The polling suggests voters are interested in cost-effective energy efficiency solutions but don’t know where to find them. The poll, carried out on behalf of pump manufacturer, Grundfos, revealed that most respondents (71%) in bellwether seats believe the government is not doing enough to help households lower their energy bills.
Those who voted Conservative in 2019 and plan to vote Labour in the coming election feel particularly strongly, with 81% of these ‘switchers’ saying the government is not doing enough.
Even among those who feel that the government is doing enough, a majority (55%) would like to see them do more. Energy efficiency looks likely, therefore, to influence voting behaviours in the general election, with six in ten more inclined to vote for a party that supports it, rising to eight in ten among switchers to Labour.
James Johnson, Co-Founder of J.L. Partners said, “People are far more likely to support parties that shine a light on the cost-effective energy efficiency solutions that can lower bills for a great many households and businesses.”
Abigail Ward, Policy Manager at the Energy Saving Trust said the findings correlate with its own findings about homeowner attitudes. “We know that there is significant interest from people to upgrade their homes both to reduce their energy bills and cut carbon emissions.
“Research we conducted into homeowner attitudes across England found that 82% are concerned about the climate emergency and, in turn, 82% of homeowners are interested in making home improvements to reduce their carbon footprint.”
Green Party co-leader Adrian Ramsay added that it is “no surprise” that people are looking for help with home energy saving. “Voters who I speak to have the cost-of-living and the climate crisis high on their list of concerns.
"It is the perfect opportunity for an imaginative government that is committed to supporting people to reduce bills and help the environment by cutting energy use to offer practical, cost-effective solutions.”
Desire for government support is exacerbated by voters’ doubts about how energy efficient their home is. Only one in five voters are ‘very confident’ that their home is as energy efficient as it can be.
Data from the ONS, released in 2023, showed that dwellings in England and Wales had a median energy efficiency rating in band D, with scores of 68 and 66, respectively. Band A is the most efficient at 92 +, while Band G (1-20) is the least efficient.
Ward said, “The UK has some of the most inefficient housing stock in Europe, and progress on upgrading homes to reduce energy use has been too slow and disjointed.
“We’d like to see improvements made to the targeting of such energy efficiency schemes, including ECO, which will help government money go further and drive the pace of retrofit needed across the UK. This should include better targeting of funds for fuel poor households.”
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