A lot of convincing needs to be done in order for most people to adopt any green measures but as soon as they find out it will cost more most of those people will not be willing to make those changes. If you asked someone if they wanted to be more environmentally friendly, reduce pollution or adopt any other positive green measures most would say yes. However when it comes to actually doing something most are apathetic.
If you put barriers in the way of positive change then change is not going to happen. Adopting green measures needs to be painless, have clear benefits and not be prohibitively costly. It therefore makes sense to offer consumers ways to make a difference but also have something in it for them; people will always want to know what direct benefits they will get. Ironically saving the planet in no something many people can see the benefit to themselves, after all why can’t someone else do it!
Making green technologies more financially attractive is one way to give homeowners a clear benefit whilst having a positive environmental impact. Many countries now have a feed-in tariff that rewards homeowners for generating clean energy, particularly from solar. In some countries such as the UK this has lead to secondary schemes where households can get free solar panels fitted to their homes. It shows that the private market can also help provide a positive outcome.
Reducing energy use
When you talk about reducing energy or water usage most people automatically think that this will impact their current standard of living. The fact is that your standard of living can be maintained by using less and as a result reduce the amount you pay out on water, heating and energy costs.
There are many building standards such as PassivHaus that build to much higher green standards so the finished homes are better insulated and less draughty. A home built to this standard requires much less heating in the winter and cooling in the summer and so saves the owner on fuel bills. Due to the higher building specifications this type of home is generally more expensive to build and so this puts off many prospective self builders and home builders.
There are however ways to reduce the cost such as using faster building techniques that means lower labour costs. Reducing costs means that you still get a home that is cheaper to heat and cool but the final product is more competitively priced compared to homes built to traditional standards. If you offer two homes to a family where one home is cheaper to run and all other things being equal the family will more than likely choose the PassivHaus.
If people can see the clear benefits to them then they will naturally gravitate to that option. As energy bills continue to rise the choice of a lower running cost home will be an even more attractive option. By giving people an option that is more favourable and beneficial means that we can reduce harmful emissions globally without impacting on current standards of living.
Allan Burns is passionate about promoting green alternatives over at his site, Free Solar Panels UK where you can find information on different ways to save money and reduce your environmental impact.