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Energy Costs Are Changing American Habits
Dec 6, 2006
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A national consumer market study finds the costs of energy are now high enough that a majority of Americans say they’ve changed their consumption habits.  The annual survey from Energy Pulse 2006 that investigates energy use and conservation attitudes, reports that 70 percent of Americans say their energy costs have risen by 10 percent to 50 percent in the last year, and 63 percent say they’ve made changes to reduce their consumption as a result.

Energy conservation is considered to be important to very important by 88 percent of those surveyed, and they’re more aware of what “renewable energy” is. In fact, 42 percent of Americans can now name at least one form of renewable energy – up from only 20 percent last year.

“What’s encouraging about this year’s results is that 77 percent of those surveyed understand that the best solution for our energy problems is a combination of increasing efficiency and reducing consumption,” said Suzanne Shelton, president and founder of the Shelton Group, which conducts the annual Energy Pulse study. “However, when it comes to buying energy-conserving products and services, there’s still a disconnect between what consumers say and what they do.

Excuses, Excuses

The survey showed that:
65 percent of Americans say people don’t do more to conserve energy because changing habits is too difficult
64 percent say they don't do more to conserve because there is not enough information available

"We feel that both answers are simply excuses," Shelton said. "Human beings will change their behaviors if they get the benefit in doing so, and there is scads of information available. We think that the real answer to why people don’t change is because they just don’t get what’s in it for them. It’s really a social marketing issue." 

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