By Trey Granger on Nov 6, 2009

Consumers Say They'd Use $10K on Home Beauty, Not Green Improvements


The Shelton Group's fifth annual Energy Pulse survey asked participants how they would spend $10,000 for home improvements, given a limited number of options. Results show that consumers prefer beautification projects over installing products that promote energy-efficiency.

Of the 504 Americans surveyed, 37 percent would refinish the kitchen or bathroom, and another 33 percent would replace carpet or add hardwood floors.

Photo: Flickr/marie-ll

Home improvement projects to green you home start with simple choices, such as choosing low-VOC paint. Photo: Flickr/marie-ll

What may be more telling is the extent homeowners would go to in order to avoid green improvements. When asked how much their bills would have to increase before they pursued efficient products, the average amount was $129 per month.

To this end, the Shelton Group also noted that most consumers aren’t aware that they use more energy now than they did five years ago, and many don’t understand the energy drain of most household appliances and electronics.

"We call this phenomenon the 'Apathy Gap,' the price people are willing to pay to do nothing," said Suzanne Shelton, president of The Shelton Group. "Here consumers are willing to waste more than $1,500 a year, or more than $4 a day, before they’ll take action. For that same amount, a homeowner could install insulation or purchase one or two new ENERGY STAR appliances to start seeing immediate savings."

It is possible to pursue beautification projects that are also eco-friendly. You can find countertops made from recycled glass or use paint that contains low volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to brighten up a room. According to a recent Harris Poll, one of the most popular American green activities was replacing incandescent light bulbs with energy-efficient models.

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      • http://recyclebills.squarespace.com/recycleblog/ RecycleBill

        People are strange indeed. Personally, I enjoy $25.oo per month electric bills and only needing to fill the gas tank of my pick-up just once a month.

      • Pingback: Americans Pass Energy Efficient Home Improvement | EarthTechling()

      • TMD

        You didn’t need to run a survey to figure out that consumers, in general, have no demand for green projects. The fact that the government must subsidize individuals in order to do install new windows, appliances and etc. Does the cost of these products to both the consumer and tax payer justify the end result?