More Americans Focusing on Personal Energy Use to Save Money
Jan 26, 2009
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The majority of middle class Americans want to do their part to use less energy, but are more likely to act if the change will save them money, according to a national survey on energy conservation released by the Burton G. Bettingen Foundation. About 73% of respondents indicated that they were concerned or very concerned about energy conservation. Nearly half (46%) indicated that they see energy conservation as a way to save money.

The survey was commissioned to gauge attitudes about energy consumption among middle-income Americans and to determine what average Americans might be willing to do to increase energy conservation in their daily lives.

"We believe that there are small steps that every American can take that would have a tremendous cumulative impact on our national energy consumption," said George O'Neill, Jr., president of the Burton G. Bettingen Foundation. "While most are driven by the current economic crisis, a significant number also want to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. These two factors combined should serve as real motivators for using less energy and fuel."

About 27% of respondents said that they see energy conservation as a way to reduce the country’s dependence on foreign oil.

The survey identified the four most common behaviors that Americans are currently doing to use less energy and fuel:

* turning off lights
* adjusting thermostats
* keeping tires inflated
* changing HVAC filters

The four things respondents are not currently doing, but are most willing to consider are:

* buying a more fuel efficient vehicle
* using major appliances during non-peak times
* reducing car idling
* walking or bicycling more often

The Burton G. Bettingen Foundation will use the national survey and the white paper to develop a comprehensive, grass roots education campaign to help increase energy efficient behaviors among middle-income Americans and their families.

"By overcoming the barriers to energy conservation facing middle Americans and arming them with information to help reduce their energy usage, we believe we can make a significant impact on the amount of energy used in this country and save millions of dollars at the same time," added O’Neill.

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