A revealing poll about consumer attitudes on energy issues has been released by The University of Texas at Austin.
The Energy Poll, which surveyed 3,400 consumers, is worth a peek for anyone selling green or energy efficient technologies for the home.
Less than 14 percent of Americans think the country is headed in the right direction on energy, and 41 percent believe we’ll be worse off in 25 years. According to the poll, the United States’ consumption of foreign oil ranked first in concerns (84 percent), with the U.S.’s progress on energy efficiency and in developing renewable energy tied for second (76 percent). About three quarters of the population (73 percent) are concerned about portion of the household budget spent on energy.
These figures alone are pretty telling. They say that people want and will embrace energy efficiency. The national security issue of foreign oil reliance is huge. And that most of us are concerned about rising household energy costs.
An almost perfect storm is brewing for a market for home energy efficiency.
Other findings of interest:
- 69 percent expect their household spending on energy to increase in the next 12 months.
- 38 percent said they were likely to use smart meter technology in the next five years, with 30 percent saying they would buy a hybrid electric car and 21 percent interested in installing solar panels.
- 37.4 percent said economic growth should be given priority over environmental protection, versus 33.3 percent who said environmental protection should take priority.
- A whopping 80 percent of respondents said they would like to learn more about being energy efficient, though they are more likely to trust consumer groups, reports, nonprofits and home improvement stores to dispense that information than home improvement contractors.
- The U.S. Congress and business leaders ranked lowest in satisfaction in dealing with energy issues. State and local governments also ranked fairly low. U.S. President Barack Obama ranked in the middle alongside local electric utilities.
- On a list of U.S. budget priorities, consumers expect energy and environmental issues to rank lowest in getting more U.S. budget funding, after job creation, education, social security, health care, military and defense and infrastructure.