THE cost of renewable energy devices is preventing people installing them on their homes in Scotland, according to new research.
A survey showed almost two thirds of Scots are interested in renewable energy technology such as solar panels.
However, they are put off by the price, which can be as high as £12,000 for an array of solar panels or £23,000 for a home wind turbine
The survey of 1,002 people in Scotland, carried out by Ipsos-Mori for the consumer advice website GreenEnergyNet.com, found that 64 per cent of adults would be interested in installing some type of micro-renewable device.
However, half of those questioned, and 59 per cent of those who said they were interested in the technology, said the perceived cost of making the changes was the biggest barrier.
Mark Ruskell, business development manager for GreenEnergyNet.com, believes new incentive schemes are needed.
“There is a real danger that insufficient incentives, together with consumer confusion, means ordinary Scots will end up facing higher than average energy bills and miss out on the chance to benefit from the renewables revolution,” he said.
The Ipsos-Mori survey also identified a “hassle factor” as holding people back.
The poll found that just 4 per cent of Scots had already installed some form of renewable energy technology at home. Those living in rural areas were more likely to adopt the devices.
The research was published as a new £15 million UK grant scheme was launched yesterday: the Renewable Heat Premium Payment, run by the Energy Saving Trust.
It offers UK householders a one-off payment of up to £1,250 towards the installation of equipment such as heat pumps, wood fuel boilers and solar thermal panels.
Philip Sellwood, chief executive of the Energy Saving Trust, said: “Without a doubt, the main barrier that prevents people from taking the plunge is the up-front capital cost. This is a great start in overcoming this obstacle.”
However, Mr Ruskell warned: “A more co-ordinated and easily understandable approach is needed from the Westminster government that reduces up-front costs, addresses our tendency to move house regularly, and gives consumers confidence and certainty.
“Without it the focus of renewable energy will remain in our hills and seas rather than our homes.”
Stan Blackley, chief executive of Friends of the Earth Scotland, said micro-renewables would be an essential part of Scotland’s energy future.
“If Scotland is to meet its renewable energy generation targets, and if we are to ensure all Scots can comfortably heat their homes and afford their energy bills, then long term government funding for energy efficiency alongside micro-renewables is vital,” he said.