Consumer Interest Growing In Green Technologies

By Allison Proffitt

August 14, 2019 | In a survey of consumers, Battery Power Online found strong support for alternative energy and strong interest in energy efficient vehicles, but the interest hasn’t yet translated purchasing decisions.

For the second year, Battery Power Online surveyed consumers about their opinions on various energy saving practices and devices, and then asked if their buying choices reflected those opinions. The data for energy efficient vehicles is representative of the trends: 82% of the survey respondents have considered purchasing an energy efficient vehicle, yet only 18% actually own an energy-efficient vehicle.

As consumers move through buying cycles, interest seems to be growing for more energy efficient choices, even if the purchases haven’t been made. Generally, comparing 2018 to 2019 survey responses show more actual investment in energy efficient products and technology, though the trend isn’t universal. Last year 25% of the 2018 respondents reporting driving an energy efficient vehicle compared to 18% this year.

When asked about home solar panels, respondents answered that they would like to have solar panels to help the environment (54%) and agreed that home solar is important for reducing fossil fuel consumption (49%) and that tax credits help make it affordable (35%)—all gains over 2018 opinions. Yet 87% of those answering the survey do not have solar panels. However, even that is an improvement. In the 2018 survey, only 10% of respondents had solar panels. The 2019 number has risen to 13%.

In daily home life, most survey respondents recycle their trash, bring reusable shopping bags to stores, and—in general—do laundry on the cold cycle. Composting food waste is still a minority habit, with only 37% of respondents composting.

While nearly all of the 2019 survey data showed small gains over 2018 numbers, questions about a smart home stood out. For the purposes of this survey, a “smart home” was defined as a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio & video systems, security, or camera systems that can communicate with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, from any room in the home, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet.

In 2018, 60% of respondents had one or more smart devices in their home. In 2019, 63% of the respondents did not have any smart or connected devices at home.

But, like other areas of the survey, interest is still high. 46% of respondents said they would love to have smart home features and 52% agreed that they would like to have remote control over aspects of the home. But the percentage of skeptics grew too: 33% of 2019 respondents (as opposed to 21% of 2018 respondents) agreed that it is unnecessary to have control over every aspect of your home electronically.

See the full survey data here.