Americans Choose Energy Efficiency as Top Priority
According to several recent national polls, there is one issue that has gained substantial bipartisan support of the American people: Energy Efficiency. As a matter of fact, polls conducted by reputable agencies like Nielsen, The Conference Board, Hart Research Associates, American Viewpoint and The Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) have determined that Americans are overwhelmingly calling for continued financing incentives, subsidies, rebates and tax credits for renewable energy alternatives, that can lead to reduced energy costs.
According to Louise Keely, President of Nielsen’s Demand Institute, the concerns of the majority of Americans families (10,000) who participated in the survey are valid. “Utilities are a significant and regular part of households’ budgets, and spending on utilities has risen more quickly than overall consumer spending – 56 percent vs. 38 percent growth since 2000.” This particular survey offered participants a list of 52 housing and community concerns, asking they be prioritized on a scale of 1-10. While an overwhelming 71% identified energy efficiency as majorly important, only 35% felt their homes were energy efficient.
Because the Nielsen poll sought responses from a broad demographic, it was able to determine that citizens in lower income brackets lack the finances to make many of the major changes with the power to seriously impact their energy efficiency. Instead, they implement practical but valuable options such as: weatherizing their homes by sealing air leaks, using LED bulbs, modifying thermostat temperatures and replacing older, less energy-efficient appliances.
Additional polls conducted by the bipartisan polling teams of Hart Research Associates and American Viewpoint on behalf of the NRDC found: “Americans want more energy efficiency and clean energy. There is a clear and significant preference for making new investments in sustainable energy sources—like energy efficiency and renewables—rather than traditional ones, particularly among Democrats and independents, though among many Republicans as well.”
The knowledge these polls have brought to light should motivate our local and federal legislators to extend energy efficiency and alternative energy tax incentives. According to Franz Matzner, Associate Director of Government Affairs at NRDC, “Americans are speaking out: they strongly side with the President’s commitment to deliver a safer and healthier planet for our children and they’re clearly against the new congressional majority’s fossil-fueled agenda to unravel decades of health and environmental protections, and block action on climate change. The bottom line is Americans don’t want dirty energy; instead, they’re calling for clean energy, health safeguards and steady resolve to protect our future from dangerous climate change.”
Recently, the Department of Energy (DOE) in conjunction with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a study to educate homeowners on the importance of one’s attic in conserving energy and reducing utility fees all year long. Implementing a program called Rule Your Attic the agencies offered recommendations to provide a safe, energy efficient home by maintaining a healthy attic. Non-hazardous insulation and solar powered attic fans are the best resources to accomplish this task. There are presently insulations on the market that are fireproof, and free of dangerous airborne fibers from asbestos and fiberglass. When used alone or in conjunction with a solar powered attic fan, this insulation can adequately insulate and seal an attic keeping the home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer while it reduces utility bills and protects the structural integrity of the home.
There is no doubt that the results of the polls will find their way into the hands of our legislators. But your calls and letters are equally important if we are to defeat the goals of lobbyists representing dirty energy entities. A safer environment begins with energy efficiency. It’s not only what we want…it’s what we need to improve the health of our homes, our planet and our economic future.