What are the drivers behind investing in energy efficiency?

We are regularly discussing the drivers behind our actions for energy efficiency or renewable energy or climate change. There is a need to come to grips behind what drives investment behaviour. Lisa Cohn writes on the Energy Efficiency Markets website about a recent survey of American consumers. What do you think of the results?

 

Why Do Americans Invest in Energy Efficiency?

Why do Americans invest in energy efficiency? Do they want to combat global warming, make their homes more comfortable, save money or take advantage of tax rebates?

A survey of 2,100 Americans by Harris conducted for HomeServeUSA found that their top reason for investing in energy efficiency is to save money, says Myles Meehan, a spokesman for HomeServe USA in this podcast (see player above).

In spite of all the bad news about climate change, that’s not Americans’ first motivation for investing in energy efficiency, the survey found. Eighty-four percent of the respondents said they choose energy efficiency to save money.

Thirty percent of the respondents said they choose efficiency to conserve natural resources, and 19 percent said they’re concerned about climate change, according to HomeServe USA.

The study, of a random sample of people aged 19 and over, also looked at the respondents’ general perceptions of energy costs. Interestingly, 42 percent said they expected their winter costs to stay the same, while 24 percent said they expected their costs to decrease this winter.

It’s possible the focus on warmer temperatures and lower oil prices prompted the respondents to say their prices would be the same or lower, says Meehan.

The survey also took a look at the efficiency measures consumers are choosing, and found they’re focusing on smart thermostats, changing to efficient lights and changing the air filters in their furnaces.

HomeServe USA also found that 17 percent of respondents already plan to invest in efficiency, 13 percent are doing it because tax credits and other incentives are available, and 6 percent were convinced by family or friends.

HomeServe USA provides home repair solutions, including HVAC repairs, and conducted the survey to better understand consumers’ attitudes about saving energy, Meehan said.

“We provide plans that help homeowners take care of repairs, and energy efficiency is a natural fit or our company,” he said.

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