By Damian Carrington

The big issue: Each day this week we are looking at key election issues. The environment has been neglected since Cameron’s ‘vote blue, go green’ slogan – but energy problems will be back in the spotlight in the next five years

As the row over the green levies added to energy bills was building towards its climax a couple of years ago – with David Cameron reportedly ordering aides to “get rid of all the green crap” to lower prices – social scientist Nick Pidgeon was touring the UK.

From Merthyr Tydfil to Glasgow and from London to Cumbria, Pidgeon’s workshops with members of the public wrestled with solving the triple challenge of keeping the lights on, energy bills affordable and global warming under control. To Pidgeon’s surprise, people attending the workshops overwhelmingly backed a transformation based on renewable energy, energy efficiency and cutting fossil fuel use.