Primary motivators for renewable adoption revealed

Tuesday, 24 January, 2017

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A new survey has explored the reasons why consumers invest in solar and battery technology.

The research, commissioned by Energy Consumers Australia and conducted by UMR, found that financial considerations were the primary motivator.

Of the 2451 households surveyed, 92% said they installed solar to reduce energy bills.

The second biggest motivator was a desire to become less dependent on traditional energy companies and ‘the grid’ (82%), while protecting the environment ranked fifth (72%).

The results for batteries were similar, with reducing household energy bills (73%) and reducing energy dependence (76%) on the grid the key reasons for installing or considering battery storage.

Energy Consumers Australia CEO Rosemary Sinclair said the results challenged presumptions about consumers who were buying these technologies.

“There’s a lot of assumptions made about what motivates this group, but when we ask consumers directly, we find they’re a pretty mainstream bunch,” Sinclair said.

“They’re looking for a way to cut their energy bills like everyone else and they’ve lost faith in the traditional market’s capacity to deliver value for money, and are taking matters into their own hands.”

These technologies are now being adopted in such numbers that consumer demand is driving significant change in energy markets. In addition, batteries and solar power are becoming more affordable for the average consumer.

“We have gone past a tipping point, where many households either already say they have solar (15%) and batteries (5%) or say they are looking to install one of both of these technologies (34% and 27% respectively),” said Sinclair.

“If we don’t listen to what consumers are telling us and monitor consumers’ experiences in this changing market, we’ll end up like other industries such as music and taxis, where consumers and technology change shifts the ground under everyone’s feet and policymakers struggle to keep up with the transition.

“The market is moving faster and becoming much more complex, dynamic and consumer driven, so we need monitoring tools which allow us to manage the market in a different way.

“Policymakers need to be prepared to deal with any issues that could arise as demand for solar and batteries accelerates.

“Energy businesses also need to deliver value for money and align their products and services with consumer attitudes and preferences, or they risk missing the train.”

Image credit: ©Tsuboya/Dollar Photo Club

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