Still struggles with prejudices & credibility “Green” power is ever increasingly in the news, politics and the media.
And almost every Utility firm now has at least one so-called “green” tariff on offer.
But how do consumers evaluate these offers?
Primarily Positive Attitudes - but age matters...
From our study in conceivably eco-friendly Germany, the majority large of respondents (70%) has a positive attitude towards green electricity.
Only 10% of respondents clearly assess eco power negatively.
It is striking that the negative attitude seems to be a question of age: For, while only 5% are turned off by green electricity amongst 18 - 34 years, this increases to 15% in the group over 55 years.
Not willing to stump up the extra money...
Over half of all respondents are not willing to spend more money for green power.
Approximately one quarter of respondents say explicitly that green power is too expensive. Between the promise and associations of green power and the individual’s willingness to take action, a significant gap yawns.
Specifically, in terms of demand, our study shows that consumers form their choice of electricity supplier first on the price, and then they look at price stability and cost transparency.
Environmental-friendliness is only in sixth place, which is significantly lower priority. The matters of affordability and environmentally-sustainable do not seem to be compatible for the consumer.
And almost one quarter of respondents are of the opinion that they do not have enough information to form an opinion on the subject of green electricity.
Overall, this is a surprisingly high proportion, considering that consumers are increasingly called upon to examine their energy use and compare the offers of the energy supplier.
However, looking at the green energy market, the number is not really that surprising.
An easy comparability of green energy deals, despite or perhaps because of the different co-existing label and the RECS system (Renewable Energy Certificate System) introduced in 2002, is often not available.
Green power still has a credibility problem:
One-third of respondents doubt that they actually make use of environmentally-friendly green power contribution (probably it is invisible to them).
And about two thirds are not convinced that a green power supply tariff ensures the effective supply of green power, nor that more energy is produced from renewable energy sources.
Hence it is perhaps no surprise that only half of respondents would choose (when given a choice) a ‘totally’ green electricity tariff which consisted of 100% renewable energies, so principally ensuring an environmental provision of electricity.
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23rd September 2009