Research to explore consumer response to the potential use of winter fuel payments to invest in energy efficiency home improvements

Document type
Corporate author(s)
Date of publication
1 September 2013
Older Adults, Housing and Homelessness, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Social welfare
Material type

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DECC commissioned TNS BMRB to conduct quantitative and qualitative research to assess how attractive 'investing' a winter fuel payment would be in encouraging older people to make their homes more energy efficient. The research consisted of a face-to-face omnibus survey of 1,092 owner-occupiers aged 61 or over in Great Britain and three qualitative discussion groups. Around a quarter (22%) of respondents to the omnibus survey said they were likely to consider putting their winter fuel payment (WFP) towards energy saving home improvements. Around one in ten (9%) respondents to the omnibus survey said they would be very likely to consider using their WFP to pay for energy saving home improvements, with a similar proportion (13%) fairly likely. Most said they would be not very (24%) or not at all (50%) likely to consider this. The most commonly cited barrier was a perception that they already had all possible energy efficiency measures installed. Other barriers included a need to spend their winter fuel payment on energy bills, having no interest in energy saving home improvements and a feeling that the work was not worth the cost or hassle at their stage of life.

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