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Consumer targeting is key to take-up of green heating
Published:  11 February, 2013

UK homeowners are being sent inappropriately-targeted marketing information every day, according to exclusive research from the Energy Saving Trust.

The research shows that a third of UK homeowners receive junk mail, cold calls, spam emails or calls from salesmen on a daily basis, while 80% receive this information at least once a week.

The IPSOS Mori survey of more than 2,000 UK adult householders, conducted between 28 September and 2 October 2012, found there is high demand for energy efficiency measures, despite one in five homeowners being confused about what to buy. Those consumers are increasingly turning to trusted organisations, like the Energy Saving Trust, to look for a 'stamp of approval' before installing these measures.

The survey found 38% of UK households are interested in fitting an energy efficient boiler to their home. Further findings from the poll revealed that when it comes to energy efficiency advice half of people had been approached by phone, 37% through direct mail, 36% through a salesman calling and 16% through email.

The EST said companies in the heating sector in particular need to target consumers more accurately, in order to help build confidence in the sector and encourage homeowners to take advantage of schemes such as the Green Deal.

Philip Sellwood, chief executive at the Energy Saving Trust, said: "There is clearly a market out there for green measures like heating, but the key to selling them effectively is targeting, targeting, targeting."

This advice comes a month after the Office of Fair Trading wrote to over 50 leading double glazing, insulation and solar panel companies, asking them to ensure they are providing consistently good standards to consumers as part of a drive to raise compliance standards across the energy efficiency sector.

"Catching homeowners at the right time with the right energy efficiency measure for their home has always been crucial for businesses, and will continue to be the case under Green Deal," said Sellwood. "This will not only build consumer trust through sending information relevant to them, but also save businesses money through more efficient marketing."

EST's home analytics service provides essential data and analysis on the UK housing stock to help target retrofit activity. Using data, statistical modelling and GIS, EST has developed the first address-level profile of all 26 million homes in the UK in terms of their potential for energy saving improvements and key property attributes.

"We have knowledge and insight on what is happening with the UK's housing stock, and where," added Sellwood. "Our team of experts know which energy saving improvements have been made in certain areas, and which homes still require upgrades, such as new eco-boilers or boiler upgrades, that could benefit the homeowner. This information can prevent companies wasting time on a 'spray and pray' approach."

Businesses interested in working with the Energy Saving Trust should visit the website at http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/Organisations/Green-Deal/Identifying-your-market-home-analytics