What do Americans want from their investments in energy efficiency? First of all, they want cost savings. Miles Meehan, a spokesman for HomeServeUSA, gives details of a new poll conducted by Harris of 2,100 Americans.
United States


00:00:00welcome to energy efficiency markets podcast where we provide news and analysis about energy efficiency markets and trends this is Lisa Kahn with energy efficiency market start com I guess today is my house man senior vice president of public relations for home serve USA and our topic is a
00:00:20new survey that shows Americans seek energy efficiency for the savings be sure to pick up our free newsletter at energy efficiency markets dot com the given early job prospects and trends from some of the most experienced reporters in the business right energy efficiency markets dot com hi miles
00:00:40thanks for joining me Haley said glad to be here so tell me I mean we've heard this before that one of the main reasons they're looking for efficiency is up for energy for us savings on their belt is there any %HESITATION new information that has come to light
00:00:57by your survey well that that's a great question Lisa and before I answer it let me just take a quick minute to sort of step back and give a little overview of our company and it might help provide a little context and why we we did the survey
00:01:12hold serve is a leading provider of home repair solutions and we serve more than two million homeowners around the U. S. so we're in homeowner's homes you know every day repairing different systems whether it's an HVAC unit %HESITATION you know plumbing systems electrical systems and such so what
00:01:30we do is provide %HESITATION you know for double repair plans that help %HESITATION the that the homeowner take care of those repairs are using quality local service providers and we duties with municipalities and utilities all around the country and and we also offer the plants directly and so
00:01:50freebies utilities energy management and energy efficiency has become more and more an important part of their business as everybody knows utilities are struggling with new solutions on how to bring in conservation to adopt new energy sources whether it's solar wind %HESITATION but but also it's sort of a
00:02:09natural fit for them to offer these plans to homeowners as solution to help them save money so we began our state of the home survey %HESITATION last July actually was the first time %HESITATION to try to get some insights into American homeowners attitudes on the financial impact of
00:02:27not any home repairs but also how they use energy %HESITATION particularly you know their perspective at at the household level but then how it impacts sort of the broader issues on a national level so %HESITATION what we found in this last survey %HESITATION we wanted to find out
00:02:47you know that with the election contest season were sick in the middle of it %HESITATION and a lot of discussion on a national level about energy efficiency in the United States and you know the pushed her towards clean power %HESITATION and other %HESITATION and other issues that are
00:03:01facing our country we thought that why not ask a question about you know why do Americans choose to implement energy efficiency improvements for their home and we found that two thirds of Americans are thinking about it %HESITATION but what but what we found interesting was there not being
00:03:19motivated by conservation and not being motivated by client about climate change the overwhelming reason %HESITATION in fact eighty four percent of them gave this response was simply to save money %HESITATION say we had our son %HESITATION yet eighty four percent at that's more than double the next highest
00:03:37response thirty percent for %HESITATION for climate change though which is pretty interesting %HESITATION who again did you survive where is my homeowners yeah well that that's %HESITATION we we work with the Harris poll %HESITATION both in their survey in July and the one we just did in February
00:03:56not to survey Americans %HESITATION fact twenty one hundred Americans are around the country ages eighteen and older %HESITATION and with it so if you were there random sampling or were they a certain group no it's a random sampling and we and we did not not you know not
00:04:15only regionally but also age brackets %HESITATION and whether they had children or not it's a you know totally random sample interesting how is this different than anything you found in the past %HESITATION so the the survey that we did in July %HESITATION %HESITATION also took a look at
00:04:34%HESITATION what people's perceptions of what energy costs were going to be from one season to the next summer's apple in this past survey that we just finished in June and February we found that forty two percent of Americans expected their winter energy costs to say that stayed the
00:04:51same this year and twenty four percent expected them to decrease what's interesting about that in our July survey in two thousand fifteen that survey found that ten percent of Americans expected a decrease in their energy because what was it we thought it was interesting what's that what was
00:05:10that the first one forty two percent expected winner energy costs to stay the same and another flame to add another about a quarter about twenty four percent expected them to decrease this this winter season has come as a compared to ten percent expected a decrease in July do
00:05:28you think that was that all this talk of global warming well that's exactly what I was going to say so we thought it was interesting that %HESITATION you know we know that two thousand fifteen had that the law was you know the the warmest year on record %HESITATION
00:05:42and at night that gas and oil prices are almost at historic lows %HESITATION so that's certainly playing into it but was there also interesting on a regional basis %HESITATION you know the northeast at typically the area where you know homeowners experience high energy costs during the wintertime forty
00:05:59one percent of folks in the in the northeast %HESITATION expected energy decrease so that definitely plays into the idea of glow the impact of global warming and lower gas and oil prices and what do you say that was a plan to global warming well we believe that you
00:06:17know people are are are you you know seeing what's in the media there listening to the debate on the presidential scale they're seeing it in their pocket book at the gas station %HESITATION folks in the northeast are big users of oil for for home heating think decreased oil
00:06:34prices I think you bring all that together and there's %HESITATION you know perception is almost meeting reality so but it's more about the decreased oil prices than it is about the perception about global warming don't you think you know it's hard to say I mean you know it's
00:06:49that we didn't ask the question specifically about what %HESITATION you know what was how you know homeowners you know why they were making that linkage but I think we were just sort of you know drawing a line and try to make those connections now is it true that
00:07:03there are %HESITATION their bills are going to drop what what energy efficiency well we we %HESITATION we found that in the the types of things that homeowners are doing to %HESITATION to to make changes in in I or improvements in their energy use our %HESITATION installing things such
00:07:27as %HESITATION %HESITATION it smart thermostats %HESITATION just simply doing things like lowering their a thermostat either the ones that they have by a few degrees in the winter or you know raising a little bit in the summer %HESITATION another thing that we we encourage farmers to do is
00:07:44regularly change their US air filters it in their central heating units to make sure that they're clean and and don't drag %HESITATION down the efficiency of the units and you know that things also like installing new with new types of light bulbs like LED light bulbs I think
00:08:00all those things together help lower the cost of of energy for a homeowner so the question is are they but is this %HESITATION perception real or imagined that there that there are bills are gonna drop I think you know eight that lists lots of data out there %HESITATION
00:08:19that I can't speak to directly but there's lots of data out there that that would suggest that different %HESITATION energy efficiency improvements that Homer is honored undertake can not only reduce their energy but make make their home more comfortable so you can get a feel for whether than
00:08:35any of them actually made energy efficiency improvements so the %HESITATION the survey asked the question of what improvements are you planning to make in the next twelve months so more example %HESITATION %HESITATION people were going to be changing out there there %HESITATION air filters people are going to
00:08:57be installing LED lights were going to be lowering their thermostat those types of things those prospective what what we what we'll do in the future will do a survey again in July we might ask the question what did you do in the past and then make that linkage
00:09:12between what people were expected to do versus what people actually did because I'm curious about why they thought their bills when it dropped that's all it is not clear it's not clear but I but I do believe based upon you know the glow of let's call them global
00:09:29factors the sort of the macro factors that are happening in the country here with with the decrease in gas and oil with that the fact that we have moderating temperatures %HESITATION that certainly would have an impact what's interesting so I mean I guess the bottom line is they
00:09:46want to save energy they want to save money and that's why they're %HESITATION implementing energy efficiency measures it seems that it's clear to them because usually in the past when I've heard is they don't know what to do first it's funny the things that you just named are
00:10:01things that we do just in our home probably too late %HESITATION and since I know about all this stuff their eggs %HESITATION what I'm saying is like I've learned about this stuff year after year after year and I'm doing this kind of late but it's interesting to me
00:10:16that they would choose those things to do but it's because you told them right because there's a lot of confusion generally about this issue like what do I do first that's right asset you know something people also thinking about changing out their windows are putting in a more
00:10:30efficient heating unit %HESITATION and and and and other things that people hear about what their friends and neighbors are doing or what that's being recommended by the local utility %HESITATION you know since we're out repairing these units on a regular basis we we find that about twenty percent
00:10:47of of homeowners you know each year having to make some sort of repair on the heating and air the cooling unit so it's it's it's you know no surprise that people are looking for ways to %HESITATION to make sure their units are an antique operating condition or you
00:11:04know making a replacement making investments there to repair replace %HESITATION to make sure that it's working effectively I think it is a surprise because what we hear over and over again is people just don't know where to start and there's a lot of confusion out there %HESITATION but
00:11:19maybe the confusion is %HESITATION being cleared up to some degree that could be and I think %HESITATION if people are looking for ways to save money this is certainly a way to do it although it it might be if an initial investment but I think over the longer
00:11:34term it's it's a it's a good investment nominee for saving money but also to improve the comfort of their home alright well interesting %HESITATION it'll be interesting to hear what happens in your next survey yeah we're looking forward to it other quick question have you done a survey
00:11:52in the past that said something different like they they do energy efficiency for a different reason I actually we haven't so this is the one we didn't in February was only our second and we're looking forward to you know introducing some slightly different questions in the one in
00:12:07July to to not only see what the trends are but also see whether other information we can get %HESITATION through the survey process so you saying so what did you what did you find in the first two service did you find the same result so we found the
00:12:22one thing that I we were talking about a moment ago is is peoples %HESITATION perception about %HESITATION energy costs from one %HESITATION season to the next so for example %HESITATION in the survey we just found %HESITATION that twenty twenty five percent %HESITATION thought that energy costs as we're
00:12:41going to decrease back in July that was only ten percent so we can see from from just just six months later %HESITATION significant change no what I was saying is in that first those first two did they say why they they do or do not implement energy efficiency
00:12:57measures we didn't ask that question in the first one so %HESITATION yeah I I yeah I can't speak to that okay I see horrible interesting stuff and thank you for joining me least it's my pleasure and thanks for having me thanks a lot bye now be sure to
00:13:14pick up our free newsletter at energy efficiency markets dot com the given early job prospects and trends from some of the most experienced reporters in the business beds energy efficiency markets dot com

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