'It's not easy being green' - poll

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People in the UK are shunning green energy alternatives because they're not sure about the benefits, according to new research.

A survey by YouGov for consultancy firm Gemserv found 61% of British homeowners would consider energy-efficient additions to their homes, such as solar panels, biomass fuel generation or hydro-electric power.

The poll, which questioned 2,022 UK adults earlier this month,  showed that despite the overwhelmingly positive attitude towards renewable energy, many people weren't sure about actualities of installing green energy alternatives, and how the costs compared to traditional gas and electricity prices.

Whilst everyone would welcome the opportunity to save money on their energy bills, many consumers said they were unsure about whether they would actually save money - which was given a prime reason for not investing the time or effort into setting up green energy at home.

More than half of the respondents said they felt renewable technologies would be too expensive to install, with 33% saying they had no idea how much money they could save.

A further 66% said they had not heard of any financial incentive packages for installing green technology, and 54% said they did not know that the Green Deal energy scheme, organised by the Government, was specifically designed to fund eco-friendly energy in homes.

Around 14% said they thought the Green Deal was set up to preserve woodlands and wildlife habitat, and nine per cent thought it was designed to increase electric or hybrid car use in the UK.

Gemserv coined the term "green gap" to describe the gulf between the Government's green efforts and the awareness of them among homeowners.

"To bridge the Green Gap, it's essential we continue to educate consumers and break down some of the myths surrounding the Green Deal, energy efficiency and microgeneration," said David Thorne, chief executive of Gemserv.

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