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Giving CLEAR advice on green-energy technology

CLEAR stands for enabling Consumers to Learn about, Engage with and Adopt Renewable energy technologies. It guides consumers actively through all the stages leading to the purchase of domestic renewable and low-carbon energy technologies, lowering barriers to buying these and raising consumers’ capacity to take informed decisions.

The project targets five countries where consumers are still reluctant to adopt renewable energy technologies – Spain, Italy, Portugal, the Netherlands and Belgium. It includes consumer organisations from each of these countries, with support from consumer organisations from nine more countries.

Its consumer-focused approach addresses the main needs of a home, including heating and cooling, electricity and domestic hot water, and actions that will lead to the purchase of renewable energy technologies such as solar photovoltaic, solar thermal, heat pumps and wood pellet stoves (for space heating).

CLEAR has identified three major barriers to adopting energy-sustainable technology:

  • lack of understanding about micro-generation’s benefits and of tailored advice on how to implement it
  • lack of confidence and trust in both the technologies and the installers or sellers
  • high upfront costs of the technologies.

The project aims to lower these three barriers with objective information about products, an online information-sharing community and help to calculate the advantages of different options and to bring down prices.

The result should be a significant uptake in the purchase of renewable energy solutions by European consumers and therefore an important contribution to the 2020 European targets.