Majority of consumers more likely to buy sustainable products or services

LaToya Harding
·Contributor
·2-min read
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55% of consumers said they want to better understand their individual carbon footprint. Photo: Getty

More than six in ten (62%) consumers are more likely to buy sustainable products or services, with 40% of under 35 year-olds willing to pay a premium price for sustainable energy.

That’s according to new data from EY which canvassed the views of 2,000 UK energy consumers. The survey explored attitudes towards sustainability and revealed the key drivers and obstacles for households.

Almost a third of respondents (32%) said they had stopped using a product or service because it was non-sustainable. The primary reason for switching supplier was for sustainability-related reasons – three times more than for customer services-related issues.

Meanwhile, some 76% of people added that they would rather buy and use sustainable energy generated in their own community.

Nearly two-thirds of consumers polled preferred to purchase products and services from local suppliers and 63% indicated that the COVID-19 crisis made them more aware of supporting local communities.

Some 40% of under 35 year-olds willing to pay a premium price for sustainable energy. Chart: EY
Some 40% of under 35 year-olds willing to pay a premium price for sustainable energy. Chart: EY

Rob Doepel, EY energy leader in the UK and Ireland, said: “With sustainability now at the top of the government’s agenda, a mainstream concern in the home and a key driver in purchasing decisions, energy companies need to demonstrate their green credentials clearly. But with many suppliers already providing green tariffs, this is no longer enough to differentiate companies from the competition.

“Energy companies need to catch the attention of consumers by clearly demonstrating an intrinsic commitment to sustainability across all their activities, not just specific products in isolation, or risk losing those customers to more sustainable competitors.”

Data also showed that although consumers wanted to reduce energy usage, they didn’t always know how.

55% of consumers said they want to better understand their individual carbon footprint, while 51% would switch to a sustainable energy company if suppliers made the process simpler and easier to understand.

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In November last year, UK prime minister Boris Johnson unveiled a £12bn ($16bn) 10-point plan for a green industrial revolution

It focuses on offshore wind, hydrogen, nuclear energy and electric vehicles, as well as other areas, and is set to create up to 250,000 jobs.

The plan unveiled a ban on combustion engine sales by 2030, £1bn next year for funds to insulate homes and public buildings and a pledge to make London “the global centre of green finance”.

Much of the focus is aimed at the north of England, Midlands, Scotland and Wales.

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