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What Homeowners Think About Clean Energy

Posted by The Tom and Joanne Team on June 29, 2015

Homeowners agree that renewable, sustainable energy is important for the future, and most of them agree which kinds.

But not as many of them are rushing out to make big purchases. According to a recent survey of 1,400 households by Clean Edge (a marketing research firm) and SolarCity (a solar installer), solar power was identified by half of all households as the number-one most important energy source for America’s future. Wind-power was second, and natural gas third. Even nuclear power was cited, but it depended on the respondents’ ages: almost a quarter of respondents over the age of seventy were favorable towards nuclear power, compared to the only 1% of those younger than twenty-four years old.

It’s heartening to hear that so many surveyed households are not only aware of the variety of renewable energy sources, but have an opinion as well. And a monumental 87% of respondents agreed that sustainable energy is important to the nation’s future.

This trend, however, is motivated by fiscal responsibility, rather than environmentalism. Of the homeowners surveyed, 82% of them cited “saving money” as the reason to support sustainable energy, while only 34% cited “reducing environmental impact”. So while the idea of renewable energy sources in America’s future is appealing to homeowners, it’s because of the long-term savings these sources will provide.

And even though 87% of homeowners agree it’s important, few of them are rushing out to spend money on energy upgrades. The most popular energy-efficient purchases planned for this year LED light bulbs and smart thermostats, which are relatively inexpensive. A much smaller percentage of respondents claimed that they were planning on big-ticket purchases like photovoltaic panels, electric vehicles, or heat pumps. Even hybrid vehicles are less popular than they were during last year’s report (the first year the survey was taken), but that’s probably due to the recent drop in oil prices.

The majority of all respondents said that they’ll support “federal incentives” for wind and solar energy purchases, no matter their political affiliation. And while saving money is still the biggest motivator for the households surveyed, well over half (65%) of them said that they “consider or investigate” the environmental impact of their purchases. That’s exciting news for the future!

While homeowners are still motivated by monetary savings, it’s encouraging to know that they’re also considering long-term sustainability and environmental impact, and actually have an opinion on how to achieve that renewable energy goal. This tells us that Americans are concerned about our energy future, and that as long as sustainable energy is also cost-effective, it will be embraced. According to this survey, solar energy is the next big thing, America!

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