Stirling University research suggests changing the name of the Winter Fuel Payment (WFP) would make recipient households more likely to invest in renewable energy technologies.
The findings, published by the university, state the change would still see the health goals of the current WFP policy achieved.
Although the WFP does not require households to spend the cash benefit on fuel, the research found that households in receipt of the WFP are up to 62% less likely to invest in renewable energy technologies than similar households that do not received the payment.
This is because the WFP name appears to encourage households to use fuel, rather than investing the payment in renewable energy technologies.
Mirko Moro, of Stirling Management School, said: “It is not that the WFP does not work, but changing the name may ensure that households do not forgo investments in renewable energy after the payment is received.
“A name that includes the words ‘renewable energy’ or ‘energy efficiency’ could ensure households consider more energy-efficient technologies while still achieving the health goals of the current WFP policy.”