Survey Shows US Consumers Want Energy-Efficient Appliances

Survey Shows California Consumers Leading Nationwide Trend on "White Goods" Efficiency, Price Rated Less Important.

Published: 19-Dec-2001

> MADISON, WISCONSIN-December 11, 2001-U.S. consumers now rank energy efficiency as their most important consideration in shopping for new home appliances, according to a new study by Madison-based Primen, an energy market-intelligence company. The heightened consumer interest in energy efficiency marks a significant departure from findings in earlier surveys, when consumers said that price had the greatest impact on their purchasing decision, and ranked energy efficiency as having only moderate importance.

In its study, "Attitudes and Behaviors of Residential Customers About Energy Efficiency," Primen asked 500 households about factors affecting their purchases of home appliances and their knowledge of energy issues. Specifically, consumers in four U.S. geographic regions and California were asked to rank the impact on their purchasing decisions of six factors: fuel choice (natural gas/electricity), price, energy efficiency, brand name, product features, availability, and appearance.

The key finding indicates energy efficiency has replaced price as the top appliance-purchasing consideration in all regions of the United States. A majority of U.S. households now assert that they will make an extra effort to buy energy-efficient appliances in the future. Three-fourths of consumers said energy efficiency was a very important factor in their purchase of appliances during the past year. More important, 84 percent said they anticipate that energy efficiency will be a "very important consideration" in making future purchasing decisions. Pro-efficiency sentiment ran strongest among California consumers, with an overwhelming number of households claiming efficiency will outrank all other factors in future appliance-purchasing decisions.

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