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Australian public is ready to embrace solar power

16th Aug 2011

A study commissioned by the Clean Energy Council (CEC) has reported that 89 per cent of Australians are willing to implement measures that will allow them to use less energy in the home and at work.

This number increases to 91 per cent when consumers are provided with detailed information on how to take action.

The research by Auspoll was commissioned by the CEC and illustrates the willingness of the Australian public to make significant changes to reduce their carbon footprint.

A further 73 per cent said they wanted more education about the options available to them to reduce consumption.

However, 57 per cent of those surveyed were unaware of government initiatives that they may be eligible to apply for.

Such government programs include feed-in tariffs and solar credits which are designed to ease the financial impact of installing solar panel systems in the home.

Clearly, Australians are ready to make the switch, but the majority may not have not been educated as to what the viable options are.

The study highlights the importance of nation-wide campaigns that inform the general public about the benefits of installing solar panels at home and the costs involved.

A staggering 90 per cent of respondents believed that the federal government should support the community as the carbon tax is implemented.

They cited the need to save on bills as a critical factor, stemming from concern that the carbon tax will impact on everyday Australians.

Auspoll conducted its survey with a mix of home owners and renters, showing that it is not only those who own property that are concerned.

Property investors and landlords will inevitably have to pass on any costs to their tenants, so the unease is shared across all Australians.

38 per cent of those surveyed said that the cost of living is their primary concern, above the health system and unemployment.

Out of all the factors that influence general living costs, home energy costs were the most troubling for consumers - 66 per cent voting it more important than groceries and healthcare.

Of all the groups that the population is prepared to listen to, independent consumer groups are voted the most trusted - at 54 per cent - followed by electricians at 15 per cent.

Interestingly enough, the government came in at third with 12 per cent, followed by energy retailers and industry associations, both at six per cent.

By Bob Dawson - News Editor

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