Energy Star Not Fully Understood As Eco-Focused Label System

Is Energy Star a widely recognized brand? Absolutely. Do consumers associate it with protecting the environment? Not so much. Those are the findings, in a nutshell, of the 7th annual EcoPinion survey from EcoAlign, a strategic marketing agency focused on energy and the environment.

The report, entitled, “Energy Star Shining Bright? National Consumer Survey of the Energy Star Brand,” was aimed primarily at testing the strength of Energy Star with consumers, given the increasing importance of the brand to the nation’s energy efficiency and environmental goals. The survey found that the vast majority of Americans faced with a new technological purchase give high consideration to the Energy Star brand, with 82% responding that the brand is either extremely important or important to them. But the Energy Star brand is more associated with the functional, e.g., “efficiency” or “savings,” than any deeper connections to eco values–in fact, only 4% of respondents linked the brand to protecting the environment.

EcoAlign_Survey

image via EcoAlign

“It is clear that the brand needs to evolve, with over 90 percent of Americans surveyed being very supportive of a tiered approach, e.g., a gold star, to labeling higher energy efficiency savings,” continued Andrea Fabbri, EcoAlign’s Chief Marketing Officer, in a statement. The tiered model makes sense, since many Americans have already become comfortable with the tiered LEED-certification for environmental excellence in building, which helps to distinguish between “good,” “better,” and “best” when it comes to the protecting the environment. The full text of the EcoAlign report is available online.

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Susan DeFreitas has covered all manner of green technology for EarthTechling since 2009. She is a graduate of Prescott College for the Liberal Arts and the Environment, and has a background in marketing green businesses. Her work on green living has been featured in Yes! Magazine, the Utne Reader and Natural Home.