“Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer”: A Quarter of the Population Willing to Pay More for Eco-Friendly Energy in the Short-Term
The latest “Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer” study has found that the majority of the population in Latvia are satisfied with the size and infrastructure of their home, however the technical condition and quality of construction of the building is more often seen as lacking. Therefore, if they were to move to a new home in the near future, for most people the main factor affecting choice of a new dwelling would be the technical condition of the building. Interestingly, a quarter of the population would, in the short-term, be willing to pay more for eco-friendly energy.
Technical condition of building a determining factor
The study found that the majority (63%) of respondents in Latvia are satisfied with the infrastructure around their residence and the size of their current home, and do not desire a larger dwelling. However, opinions differed regarding the technical condition of the building. 43% of respondents assessed the technical condition of their building as good, while the majority (48%) admitted that it was quite unsatisfactory.
According to the results of the study, people do, however, think the quality of the building to be a crucial factor. If they were to purchase a new home today, more than half (59%) of respondents said that the technical condition of the building would be the main criterion in their choice. Slightly less often respondents said that they would consider the surrounding infrastructure – good roads, public transport, availability of schools and stores (52%). Likewise relatively low maintenance costs of the home are also important (46%).
In turn, the prestige (6%) and surrounding scenery (14%) of the place of residence is significantly less important, as is the proximity to friends and family (12%).
80% are informed about alternative energy options
With a view to future development, there is an increasing number of various new solutions to simplify home maintenance and make it more energy efficient. The results of the latest “Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer” study show that people are quite well-informed about possibilities to use renewable energy in home maintenance.
52% of respondents stated that they are best informed about using solar panels. Quite a lot of people stated that they know how to use biomass (woodchips, wood shavings, wood pellets) and wind turbines (48% and 38%, respectively). Only one in six (18%) admitted that they know nothing about renewable energy technologies.
Asked to forecast the future development of these technologies, the majority (57%) identified solar panel development as having the greatest potential. Slightly less often people saw potential for possibilities to use wind turbines and generators (44%), and biomass (34%).
It is important to note, that the population in Latvia is not only informed about renewable energy options, but also willing to use them in their daily lives. More than a quarter (26%) of respondents would, in the short-term, be willing to pay more for using eco-friendly energy, including investing in the switch-over.
26% of respondents also noted that support from the state and local governments could facilitate the switch to more eco-friendly energy production methods. Meanwhile, the relatively high cost of equipment remains the main obstacle keeping people from using renewable energy in their homes.
“The Baltic International Bank Latvian Barometer” is a monthly study on public mood and attitudes in Latvia; the study includes opinions of renowned experts and illustrates the current public issues.