Public unaware of real cost of solar subsidies

A new YouGov poll commissioned by the Solar Trade Association has found subsidies for solar power are 22 times lower than people think. 

The survey found on average, people believe solar subsidies cost around £196 per year, but in reality subsidy for solar only accounts for £9 on an average household bill.

The median estimate was £100 and many respondents said they didn’t know. 

“The Government has justified the cuts to solar and renewables on the basis of reducing costs on bills, but hasn’t told people that the cost of getting solar subsidy-free - a breakthrough achievement - is relatively modest,” said the CEO of the Solar Trade Association, Paul Barwell.

“This survey shows that solar is cheaper than many people think, and that the perception of the cost of solar on bills has become grossly inflated. We need to put this right.”

The Department of Energy and Climate Change last week released the results of its own latest opinion poll on public attitudes to energy. 

The regular opinion poll found yet again that solar is the nation’s favourite source of energy at 80%, higher than every other renewable or conventional energy technology.

The STA’s poll comes as the Government is due to make its final decision later this year on how much to cut Feed-in Tariff subsidies for solar. 

Jamie Hailstone is a freelance journalist and author, specializing in local government, transport and energy issues