Consumers, Public Engagement and Low Carbon Heat
On 14th July 2020, Carbon Connect held an online roundtable to discuss public engagement in the low carbon heat transition. The event was part of a series of roundtable discussions held as follow-up events on Policy Connect’s Uncomfortable Home Truths report.
Please read the detailed event write-up here.
Key considerations highlighted at the event:
- Low public awareness and engagement is one of the major barriers to the deployment of low carbon heat.
- While other transformations, such as coal phase out from the grid, can happen with little or no engagement from consumers, the public needs to play an active part in the low carbon heat transition which is likely to bring disruption to people’s lives during its roll-out.
- Thus, more investment is needed in public awareness campaigns, as well as in research that seeks to understand customer perceptions of low carbon heat. The upcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy needs to dedicate sufficient attention to public engagement and awareness raising.
- Similar to other aspects of the low carbon heat transition, a central coordinating body is needed to ensure that public engagement happens in a streamlined approach, communicating harmonised messages to consumers.
- Based on lessons learnt from previous large-scale transformations, low carbon heating options need to be made more visible and more ‘exciting’ for customers, using the right framing.
- People have to be given a voice in decision-making about the low carbon heat transition. Moreover, it is important to enable consumers through free and impartial advice to make an informed choice from the range of options available to them.