The Green Alliance blog has an interesting post today titled:
Should the [UK] government advertise the “green switchover”?
‘Advertise’ here means communicate to a generally unaware public through TV in order to increase adoption of green initiatives such as the Green Deal energy efficiency scheme, the smart meter rollout, and the renewable heat incentive, all of which are part of its energy (reduction) strategy.
A bit of a no-brainer, you might think, given our understanding of how difficult it is to reach parts of the public, especially those who’ve not benefitted from ESD. Trouble is, HMG has a bit of a downer on advertising (part of its austerity strategy). However, as the Green Alliance’s new report, Neither sermons nor silence: the case for national communications on energy use, predicts, unless there’s a co-ordinated approach to raising awareness the government is unlikely to generate the levels of take up it both hopes for and needs. As Alastair Harper, senior policy adviser at Green Alliance, said:
“It comes down to basic economics. If you spend a lot of money making these policies happen but then don’t tell people about them you are not getting an optimal return on your investment.”
Quite so. But it’s not just a question of telling people, is it? How about getting them talking about it? What’s the government strategy for doing this?
The report itself is a valuable review of past approaches to this sort of issue across sectors and interests. It will likely be valuable for this, whatever government eventually does or doesn’t do.