UK energy security concerns fade, fracking support falls

The level of concern regarding energy security among the British public has fallen significantly in the last few months, matched by a drop in support for fracking from 21% last […]

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By Jonny Bairstow

The level of concern regarding energy security among the British public has fallen significantly in the last few months, matched by a drop in support for fracking from 21% last year to 16% now.

That’s according to the latest BEIS Public Attitude Tracker (PAT), which is now on its 22nd wave of finding out what the public think about a variety of energy issues.

The survey of 2,097 households across the UK reveals 64% were concerned about steep energy price rises in the future, compared with 73% at wave 21.

Around 37% were worried about power cuts becoming more frequent, down from 47%.

Support for shale gas extraction has fallen as those who have previously supported it have done so largely to use all available energy resources and improve the UK’s energy security.

Worries over paying for energy bills have dropped to their lowest since the tracker began, with only a fifth of respondents either very or fairly worried, down from wave 21 when nearly a third rated this a major issue.

Young people and wealthy people in the upper classes said they are the least worried, with people in the lower classes and social renters being the most concerned.

Customer trust in energy suppliers showed little change from previous surveys, as did opinions on how important it is to save energy in the home – just under a quarter claimed to give a lot of thought to saving energy at home (23%), whilst half claimed to give it a fair amount of thought (49%).

Support for nuclear energy (35%) and renewable power (77%) remained relatively unchanged since the last round of the survey, as did knowledge about radioactive waste disposal, with only 15% of the public saying they knew much about it.