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Observer Ethical awards Winners 2011

YouGen Blog

Access to finance is a major barrier to microgeneration

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 January 2011 at 9:58 am

Access to finance for renewable energy installations is a critical barrier for consumers, especially those for whom renewable heat would have the most benefits in reducing fuel poverty, according to research published by Consumer Focus Scotland. 

In its report Power at Home, published in November last year,  the body says "it is critical that [finance] solutions are available for all consumers" to install microgeneration and associated energy efficiency measures. While the latter will be covered by the Green Deal, it does not come in until 2012, and the report calls for interim measures.

Consumer Focus Scotland also suggests that the Scottish Government and other public sector organisations should lead by example: "public sector buildings, especially those visited frequently by consumers should incorporate and promote microgeneration." This could involve making visitors aware of the proportion of hot water, heat or electricity used bu the building that is generated by on-site renewables.

It also calls for more "real life case studies". This is something we all can help with. Our individual profiles aim to provide case studies, and we encourage all readers who have installed any form of renewable energy to register (or log in) and fill in the descriptive fields of their profile, so other people can see what you've done and learn from it. Do add a picture too. 

Also needed is more free, unbiased advice services on microgeneration and energy efficiency for consumers. Without this "there is a risk that consumers may be influenced by sales people who may have a vested interest in one particular type of technology over another, and related energy efficiency advice would not be provided at the same time."

Photo by Kieran Lynam


If you have a question about anything in the above blog, please ask it in the comments section below.

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