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In this article the authors report on the outcome of a mixed methods study which assessed the renewable energy literacies of adults’ in rural communities across Britain. The research team used a stratified sample survey (n=6000), interviews with householders (n=97), stakeholder interviews (n=7) and one focus group meeting to collect primary data. Data from the study highlighted a series findings: a) there is a clear disjuncture between individuals’ awareness and understanding of energy related matters and government and industry rhetoric; b) there is a public appetite for more reliable (trustworthy) information on renewable energy; c) the public is not well informed about renewable energy debates and government schemes to save energy . Responding to the findings an energy literacy matrix which can be used to plot knowledge of, against, knowledge about renewable energy sources has been developed. The literacy matrix provides a development education tool to focus adult educators’ efforts on raising awareness and understanding of how local, national and global issues affect the everyday lives of individuals and communities.