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Public support for nuclear, still an important supplier of business electricity, and shale, potentially a source of business gas, has fallen.
The UK Government’s Public Attitudes Tracking survey (‘Wave 14’ of which was published on 4 August) shows support for renewable energy up and support for nuclear sources and extraction of gas by hydraulic fracturing (fracking) down. While focused on public attitudes, the survey – begun in March 2012 and repeated four times a year – offers useful insight into the likely perceptions of small to medium sized business owners.
In fact, support for renewable energy has been consistently high throughout the tracking surveys, fluctuating between 75% and 82%. This pattern has continued with 75% expressing support for the use of renewables, although the proportion expressing strong support (24%) is lower. Opposition to renewables was very low at 4%, with only 1% strongly opposed.
Support for renewables is particularly high for those with incomes over £50,000 (88%). Opposition is slightly higher amongst over 65s (10%) and those with an income lower than £16,000 (6%).
Three quarters of the public were aware of fracking (75%), a level that has remained stable over the last 18 months, following a significant increase. However, only 14% claimed to know a lot about it, compared to 42% saying they knew a little. Just under one in five (19%) were aware of it but didn’t really know what it was. Awareness of fracking was higher for over 45s (upwards of 85%) and people in rural areas (83%). Those feeling their knowledge may be lacking are advised to read our accessible introduction, followed by the most recent update.
Those in support for the extraction of shale gas (21%) or in opposition (28%) were outnumber by the almost half of respondents who neither supported nor opposed it (46%). Nevertheless, there has been a gradual shift towards more opposition over the last 18 months, with support at its lowest since the survey began.
Nuclear energy also saw support drop to its lowest level at one third (33%), with around a quarter (24%) opposed. Again, a significant proportion (40%) selected the neutral option.
Surprisingly, given recent research that proves SME businesses are still losing out on low cost business electricity rates and are overpaying on business gas prices, worries over paying for energy bills have fallen to the lowest level recorded since the survey began. In June 2015, only 25% were either very, or fairly worried about paying for their energy bills.
However, this may be where the domestic and commercial energy comparison is at its most different. While the consumer market is more regulated, business energy suppliers can still put companies on rollover contracts or deemed rates when their current business electricity tariff or business gas deal ends.
Even those business owners that are comfortable with their current commercial energy supplier may find they can make substantial savings. The process need not be as time-consuming as it once was – SwitchMyBusiness.com can offer a no-obligation comprehensive comparison of business electricity and gas suppliers in just 20 minutes. Fill in our simple form (also at the top right of this page) or give us a call on 0330 0100 251 now to start saving.
"Very easy. Bea Luseni very efficient & knowledgeable."This review was posted by Alan Duffy on the 31st of March 2017
Super helpful and easy to work with
"Recommend this company in a heartbeat - Nicole Borneuf was super easy to talk to, was not pushy in the slightest, very helpful and replied with all my questions very professionally and did all she could to help. I had to deal with a few companies to sort my business energy out, all but Nicole were too pushy for my liking and I refused to follow through with them. Thank Nicole - you are a credit to your company, thank you for making the stressful energy change so easy."This review was posted by Mia Drew on the 29th of March 2017
An Extremely Competent Company
"Switch my business has not only helped my SME secure a good energy deal for the second year running but Jessica swiftly found a alternative supplier for me when I was let down on the day of switching by the new contractual provider I had chosen some 4 months previously. Being suddenly out of contract and without provider is everyone's energy nightmare. Greatest thanks."This review was posted by S McMillan on the 29th of March 2017
Helpful, friendly and we saved lots of money!
"Jessica Purnell was helpful and friendly, she made the whole process easy and simple AND we saved lots of money thanks Jess"This review was posted by Melanie Baker on the 23rd of March 2017
Quick & Easy
"Kabibi was very helpful and the whole process was very efficient. The one small reservation I had was that I was phoned up by Kabibi almost immediately having received my online quote - which wasn't enough time for me to finish reading the quotes! Fortunately she was able to assist me in a greater savings on both Gas & Electricity, and so as long as the switchover is seamless I will remain very happy with the service."This review was posted by Amanda Brown on the 21st of March 2017