Preferred Energy SourcesBy Berit Griffin
There’s no doubt that today’s homeowners have clean energy on the mind. In fact, according to a jointly sponsored survey conducted by SolarCity, a solar installer, and Clean Edge, a marketing research firm, solar and wind energy are preferred energy sources for the future of U.S. homes, reports Realtor Mag. Results were derived from a pool of 1,400 randomly selected homeowners that were polled about renewable energy, energy efficiency, conventional energy, transportation, and various like topics.
According to Green Building Advisor, Half of all those surveyed identified solar energy as the most important energy source for the nation’s future, and it didn’t seem to matter where they lived or how they identified themselves politically. Wind was second with 42 percent of all homeowners, followed by natural gas (33 percent), energy efficiency (25 percent), oil (17 percent), hydro (17 percent) and nuclear power (14 percent). Power sources with the least public support were geothermal (10 percent), coal (8 percent) and biofuel/biomass (7 percent).
About 87 percent of respondents surveyed said that renewable sources are important to the nation’s energy future. However, respondents said that “saving money,” not “reducing my environmental impact,” serves as the most important factor in deciding to purchase clean energy products and services. In fact, 82 percent of homeowners surveyed cited saving money as the most important factor, while reducing the environmental impact was cited by 34 percent, reports Realtor Mag.
Additional key findings as reported by Green Building Advisor:
- Saving money is the biggest motivator for people, but 65 percent of the respondents said they “consider or investigate” the environmental impact of their major buying decisions at least some of the time, and 75 percent said they were taking some steps to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Most Democrats (82 percent) and two-thirds of all Republican respondents (67 percent) said that they support federal incentives for wind and solar energy purchases. The number of Independent voters supporting incentives was 72 percent.
- When asked whether they agreed with efforts by electric utilities to charge fees for the installation of grid-connected PV, 61 percent said no (and 43 percent strongly opposed). Opposition was stronger among Republicans (66 percent) than Democrats (53 percent).
- Green building remains popular. The number of buildings winning LEED certification hit 5,800 in 2013, a compounded annual growth rate of 56 percent over 11 years. The number of Energy Star homes built in 2013 reached 77,000, a market share of 13 percent.