Are consumers ready to reduce power consumption?

Survey commissioned by Rexel with Harris Interactive suggests people are ready to cut consumption, but lack information on what to do.

11/15/2011


Energy efficiency efforts aim to reduce energy consumption without degrading the level of service and therefore reduce economic, ecological, and social costs. Professionals in this field are very familiar with the issue, but how do American citizens perceive energy efficiency? How do they go about saving energy in their households? Are they prepared to make sacrifices and change their habits? And how do they view energy efficiency, as compared with citizens in France, England, and Germany?

Rexel, a worldwide distributor of electrical supplies, called on Harris Interactive to ask a representative population from the U.S., France, England, and Germany for answers to these key questions.

The results of the survey reveal that, for most people, energy efficiency is important and requires action. In fact, respondents from all four countries see the subject of energy efficiency as important: between 86% and 95% of respondents judge the subject as important, of which nearly two-thirds say it is “very important.”

The survey also found that Americans consider themselves responsible for electrical efficiency and its promotion. They have already adopted some new habits and select applications according to their energy consumption. The issue of energy efficiency also appears to be inextricably linked to financial considerations. 54% of Americans cited the excessively high price of low-energy products as an obstacle in becoming more energy efficient. Consumers are keen to invest in order to reduce their electricity bills as long as they can measure the impact, and see the return on their investment.

Among all respondents, nine out of ten citizens view energy efficiency as an “important” issue, but after looking at the data they only have a superficial understanding of the measures already taken.

Although Americans are aware of energy efficiency issues, and believe they are informed about the measures taken in their country, their knowledge is actually somewhat limited. In the U.S. three out of four people claim to have heard that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out, but only 46% know exactly what the incandescent lamp phase out is. Similarly, in the U.S., 88% of respondents have heard of the Federal and State Government tax incentives related to home heating and ventilation systems and renewable energy devices, however, only 34% of them know exactly what it is.

U.S. respondents said that improving energy efficiency is justified for three important reasons:  the desire to reduce expenses (97% said good reason, of whom 75% consider this to be a very good reason); the guarantee of energy security (95% said good reason, of whom 53% believe this to be a very good reason); environmental protection (91% said this was a good reason).

“This survey shows that we are moving towards a new energy model,” says Chris Hartmann, CEO of Rexel Holdings USA. “Rexel is particularly involved in accelerating change through innovative solutions and education that informs our clients how to adopt eco-efficient solutions. As a distributor we continue to play a driving role in energy efficiency issues within the electrical field. It is also important for people to know that energy efficiency is not a one size fits all approach. Everybody can do their part even on the smallest level by simply upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs, but Americans should know that there are solutions available to accommodate varying levels of budget and energy objectives.”

American respondents also said that while they pay attention to their energy consumption (89%), many lack information about practical steps they can take towards improving their own energy efficiency.  Only 33% regularly defrost their freezer and refrigerator, 52% fill the washing machine to the top before starting the wash cycle and 56% shut off electronic devices rather than switching to stand-by.

By publishing this study, Rexel is working to expand its role as an industry leader in providing energy efficient solutions within the electrical sector and its active participation in developing partnerships with manufacturers and contractors. The company has set up an information site, www.electrical-efficiency.com/ to promote awareness of electrical efficiency issues.

Americans are very aware of energy efficiency issues and to some extent have already changed their everyday habits to save energy. For example: 69% of Americans purchase low energy light bulbs and 64% use power strips. As far as investments are concerned, 72% of Americans have already, or are willing to, install an environmentally-friendly hot water system, and 75% would consider installing an eco-efficient heating system.

Respondents say they would make three types of effort to improve their energy efficiency: efforts in terms of time (76% in France, 82% in the UK, 75% in the U.S.), investment in equipment that is more expensive to buy but with long-term savings (69% in France, 78% in the U.S.), or giving up certain comforts (71% in the UK, 61% in France, 52% in the U.S.). Respondents were interested in the impact on their personal finances and tended to be torn between spending less in the short term and investments that reduce energy costs in the short and medium term.

www.rexelholdingsusa.com

www.harrisinteractive.com

Edited by Peter Welander, pwelander(at)cfemedia.com



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
The Engineering Leaders Under 40 program identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn how to increase device reliability in harsh environments and decrease unplanned system downtime.
This eGuide contains a series of articles and videos that considers theoretical and practical; immediate needs and a look into the future.
Learn how to create value with re-use; gain productivity with lean automation and connectivity, and optimize panel design and construction.
Go deep: Automation tackles offshore oil challenges; Ethernet advice; Wireless robotics; Product exclusives; Digital edition exclusives
Lost in the gray scale? How to get effective HMIs; Best practices: Integrate old and new wireless systems; Smart software, networks; Service provider certifications
Fixing PID: Part 2: Tweaking controller strategy; Machine safety networks; Salary survey and career advice; Smart I/O architecture; Product exclusives
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Look at the basics of industrial wireless technologies, wireless concepts, wireless standards, and wireless best practices with Daniel E. Capano of Diversified Technical Services Inc.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.

Find and connect with the most suitable service provider for your unique application. Start searching the Global System Integrator Database Now!

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.