Americans Desire Efficiency To Manage Costs

A new report [PDF] from Consumer Federation of America (CFA) reveals an interesting fact — home energy costs are now neck-and-neck with gasoline costs for most Americans. Perhaps unsurprisingly, the study also finds that Americans increasingly support strong energy efficiency standards to drive down costs.

This national, random-sample survey of 1,006 adults, conducted by Opinion Research Corporation in January of this year, found that 95% think it “beneficial for appliances like refrigerators, clothes washers, and air conditioners to become more energy efficient,” with 78% believing this increased efficiency to be “very beneficial.” Nearly all Americans (96%) thought that improved appliance efficiency was important for personal financial reasons, and large majorities supported efficiency for environmental reasons–even when the price-tag was higher.

Newberry Home by KB Homes

image via KB Homes

Nearly three-quarters of all surveyed also expressed support for strong governement-issued minimum efficiency standards for appliances.

“Expenditures on gasoline receive a great deal of attention from the media and policymakers,” said Mark Cooper, CFA Director of Research and author of the report, in a statement. “But in the last couple of years expenditures for home energy used for air conditioning, heating, lighting, hot water and other purposes take almost as big a bite out of the consumer pocketbook.” He goes on to note that the survey’s results indicate that the public wants to see Washington policy makers to cooperate on positive legislation that advances the consumer and national interests.

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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.

    • Unless someone is environmentally aware, the price will be the number one influence on their decision. We can’t change people and make them more sensitive to our beliefs, but we can make it easier for them to make thoughtful purchases by legislating for higher standards of efficiency.