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Latest research defines values which determine public acceptance of energy system change

The findings of the study, funded by UKERC (funded by the RCUK Energy Programme, which brings together the work of five research councils, including NERC) and led by researchers based at Cardiff University, reveal that British people are fully supportive of the idea of energy system change:


  • The public wants to see transition to an efficient, clean, fair and safe energy system.
  • 82% are worried about the UK becoming too dependent on energy from other countries.
  • 74% of participants are very or fairly concerned about climate change.
  • 81% of people would like to reduce their energy use.
  • But trust in both energy companies and government is low - which could hamper energy system development.


The research highlights key factors that are influential in public assessments of proposed changes. From examining these factors, the research shows that the public favours changes that are: energy efficient rather than wasteful; protect the environment and nature; are reliable, accessible and safe; allow consumers a certain amount of autonomy and power; are socially just and fair; improve on what has gone before; score well in terms of quality and performance; and, fit with a long-term, sustainable trajectory, rather than being just a short-term fix. The report proposes that energy policies not taking account of these factors in combination are unlikely to secure public support.

Further information is available here.

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