A study of 4,000 adults found only half believe recycling will help the environment, with just 49 per cent believing that removing single use plastics will make a difference.
And just three in 10 think being energy efficient would have the biggest impact on protecting the environment.
It also emerged that only one in five are aware the smart grid – which uses data to help make the UK more energy efficient – has the power to help make the country more sustainable.
The research was carried out by Smart Energy GB as part of it’s ‘Missing Piece’ campaign, to highlight the effect of energy efficiency and smart meter installation in the battle against the climate crisis.
Experts believe that if every household took action on energy efficiency now the UK could achieve 11 per cent of its 2050 carbon targets.
It comes after Smart Energy GB partnered with the University of Salford and the Energy Saving Trust, to find that less than three per cent of the UK’s conversations about climate change mention the topic of energy efficiency.
Just 2.61 per cent of 24,429 national news stories around climate change from July 2017-July 2019 referenced energy efficiency.
The same subject was mentioned just 466 times in Parliament over that time period, with a fraction – just 0.27 per cent – of MPs tweets also highlighting the issue.
Energy efficiency received zero mentions in IMDBs synopses of television documentaries released in the UK, and a mere 0.12 per cent of the public’s 3.2 million Twitter posts about climate change included any reference to the matter.
Conservationist and TV presenter Chris Packham, who is supporting Smart Energy GB’s #missingpiece campaign said: “Never before has the climate and environmental emergency been on so many people’s lips.
“Having campaigned for many environmental issues, I know the impact that TV programming, public debate and media coverage can have on awareness levels and positive behaviour change.
“We’re reducing our consumption of single use plastics and we’re making our homes more eco-friendly.
“Now we’re calling on politicians, the media and the public to help fill in the missing piece by including energy efficiency in the climate change debate.
“But, talking alone is not enough. One small step we can all take today to become more energy efficient, individually and as a nation, is by getting a smart meter installed – they’re the foundation of a smart energy system.”
The study, conducted via OnePoll, also found 62 per cent reckon it’s UK consumers’ responsibility to tackle climate change.
To highlight how the topic of energy efficiency is missing in the climate change debate – Smart Energy GB took over a news stand and filled it with their own Missing Piece newspaper.
Sacha Deshmukh, CEO of Smart Energy GB, said: “We are facing a climate crisis. The UK wants to lead the world with our commitment to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050.
“But, we have a lot to do if we really want to meet that goal.
“Unless we transform our climate change conversation and talk about real changes in the way we use energy, our commitment to reach zero carbon won’t be worth the paper it is written on.”