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Attitudes Toward Energy Savings - US - May 2011

For the purposes of this report, Mintel has used the following definitions:

The energy savings market includes products and services that are designed to help consumers use less energy directly, in the form of electricity or fuel consumed. It does not include energy consumed indirectly, through products a consumer buys or businesses a consumer patronizes.

"Alternative energy" includes energy resources that have low environmental impact. These are resources that are not fossil-based (e.g., oil, coal, or other petroleum products). These sources may include, but are not limited, to: solar, wind, wave and tide, geothermal, nuclear, bio-fuels, hydrogen, and biomass.

"Renewable energy" includes energy generated from natural resources (e.g., sunlight, wind, tides, plants, and geothermal heat), which are renewable (i.e., naturally replenished).

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Table of contents

  1. Scope and Themes

    • What you need to know
      • Definition
        • Data sources
          • Consumer survey data
            • Advertising creative
              • Abbreviations and terms
                • Abbreviations
                  • Terms
                  • Executive Summary

                    • Government regulation and incentives shape markets for energy and energy efficiency
                      • Fossil fuels still rule but renewables growing fast
                        • Auto industry shift toward fuel efficient vehicles likely to be permanent
                          • Home energy use to undergo major changes in coming decade
                            • Electricity markets poised for innovation as competition spreads
                              • Increasing energy prices will fuel demand for energy saving products
                                • Utilities and auto makers biggest energy efficiency marketers
                                  • Educated consumers most receptive to energy saving ideas
                                    • Upfront costs deter energy saving actions, especially among lower-income consumers
                                      • Interest in energy efficiency cuts across all product categories
                                        • Awareness of incentive programs low among neediest groups
                                          • Consumers see alternative energy as a solution to many different problems
                                            • Consumers support most forms of alternative energy
                                              • Blacks reluctant to spend on energy efficiency
                                              • Insights and Opportunities

                                                • Consumer choice to drive innovation explosion in residential electricity markets
                                                  • Expansion of smart grid technology will drive innovation in electric markets and smart devices
                                                    • Asians represent a unique but valuable market for energy saving products
                                                      • Technology can help marketers reach key young and educated markets
                                                      • Inspire Insights

                                                          • Trend: Patriot Games
                                                          • Competitive Context

                                                            • Key points
                                                              • Government regulation
                                                                • Renewable portfolio standards (RPSs)
                                                                  • Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards
                                                                    • Appliance energy efficiency standards and labeling
                                                                      • Government incentives
                                                                        • Alternative fuel and advanced technology vehicles
                                                                          • Appliances
                                                                            • Home energy audits and efficiency retrofits
                                                                              • Home alternative energy installations
                                                                                • The future of incentive programs
                                                                                  • Growing consumer interest in efficiency and green purchasing
                                                                                    • Figure 1: Light bulb purchase incidence and type, May 2003-Sept. 2010
                                                                                    • Figure 2: Influence of green factors on last/next major purchase, by category, Oct. 2010
                                                                                  • Green consumer population growing
                                                                                      • Figure 3: Change in share of “green” consumer population, Aug. 2006-Dec. 2010
                                                                                    • Greener kids forecast a greener future
                                                                                      • Figure 4: Kids' aged 6-11 attitudes toward environment, June 2002-June 2010
                                                                                  • The U.S. Energy Market

                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                      • Fossil fuels still dominate U.S. energy supply, but renewables growing
                                                                                        • Figure 5: U.S. energy consumption by source, segmented by type, 1990-2009
                                                                                      • Electricity consumption by fuel source
                                                                                        • Figure 6: U.S. electric power generation, by source, 2008-12
                                                                                      • Alternative energy consumption by type
                                                                                        • Figure 7: U.S. renewable energy supply, segmented by type, 2010
                                                                                        • Figure 8: U.S. renewable energy supply, segmented by type, 2008-12
                                                                                    • Energy Efficient Vehicles

                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                        • Market shifts toward efficient vehicles
                                                                                          • Figure 9: U.S. sales of HEVs, by make and model, 1999-2010
                                                                                        • Alternative fuel vehicles reach a milestone in 2011
                                                                                          • Rental market more sensitive to consumer concerns about fuel efficiency
                                                                                          • Energy Use in the Home

                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                              • Breakdown of average household energy use
                                                                                                • Figure 10: U.S. Annual household energy consumption, by end use, 2005
                                                                                              • Creating more efficient homes—building and retrofitting
                                                                                                • Smart home/smart devices
                                                                                                  • Uptake of electric cars will change residential energy use patterns
                                                                                                  • Household Energy Use—Electricity

                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                      • Overview of electricity market
                                                                                                        • Deregulation and competition
                                                                                                          • Breakdown of average household electricity use
                                                                                                            • Figure 11: U.S. residential electricity consumption, by end use, 2009
                                                                                                          • What do consumers want from electric utilities?
                                                                                                            • Women and 18-34s most interested in energy saving information on utility bills
                                                                                                              • Figure 12: Opinions about monthly electricity billing statements, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                              • Figure 13: Opinions about monthly electricity billing statements, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                            • Parents want help assessing their energy use
                                                                                                              • Figure 14: Opinions about monthly electricity billing statements, by presence and number of children in household, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                            • Black respondents look for energy saving tips
                                                                                                              • Figure 15: Opinions about monthly electricity billing statements, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                            • Trends in residential electricity markets
                                                                                                            • Market Drivers

                                                                                                              • Key points
                                                                                                                • Economic recovery and growth in energy demand
                                                                                                                  • Gasoline prices volatile, but generally increasing
                                                                                                                    • Figure 16: Weekly U.S. regular conventional retail gasoline prices, Jan. 6, 2003-Apr. 25, 2011
                                                                                                                  • Electricity prices
                                                                                                                    • Figure 17: U.S. end-use electricity prices, 2003-11
                                                                                                                • Innovations and Innovators

                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                    • New products from electric utilities
                                                                                                                      • The potential of the smart grid
                                                                                                                        • Implementation of smart grid technology
                                                                                                                          • Smart homes and smart devices
                                                                                                                          • Marketing Strategies

                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                              • Overview of energy efficiency marketing
                                                                                                                                • Marketing of energy efficient vehicles
                                                                                                                                  • Toyota Prius TV commercial
                                                                                                                                    • Figure 18: Toyota Prius television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                  • Utility marketing trends
                                                                                                                                    • Questar Gas TV commercial
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 19: Questar Gas television ad, 2011
                                                                                                                                    • Salt River Project (SRP) TV commercial
                                                                                                                                      • Figure 20: SRP television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                    • Alternative energy marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                      • Pacific Gas and Electric Company (PG&E) Go Solar California TV commercial
                                                                                                                                        • Figure 21: PG&E Go Solar California television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                      • “Clean coal” marketing and promotion
                                                                                                                                        • American Coalition for Clean Coal Electricity (ACCCE) commercial
                                                                                                                                          • Figure 22: ACCCE television ad, 2010
                                                                                                                                      • Consumer Attitudes Toward Utility Bills

                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                          • High-income consumers have more bills to pay
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 23: Monthly household utility bills, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                            • 18-24s least familiar with utility bills
                                                                                                                                              • Figure 24: Monthly bill review, by utility, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                            • 25-34s most likely to use automatic payment
                                                                                                                                                • Figure 25: Monthly bill payment method, by utility, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Most consumers pay attention to their electricity use
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 26: Attitudes toward monthly electricity bills, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                • High-income consumers least concerned with energy savings
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 27: Attitudes toward monthly electricity bills, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Highly educated most interested in energy savings
                                                                                                                                                  • Figure 28: Attitudes toward monthly electricity bills, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                              • Energy Saving Behaviors

                                                                                                                                                • Key points
                                                                                                                                                  • Higher-income consumers follow more energy saving practices
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 29: Energy saving behaviors, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Education boosts uptake of energy saving behaviors
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 30: Energy saving behaviors, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • College grads and under-35s most concerned about energy use by businesses
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 31: Attitudes toward energy use by businesses, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Figure 32: Attitudes toward energy use by businesses, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                • Energy Efficient Actions in the Home

                                                                                                                                                  • Key points
                                                                                                                                                    • Most people stick to simple actions to save energy
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 33: Environmental impact—basic actions/behavior and energy efficient products used, now and planned, Oct. 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 34: Environmental impact—construction/building installs, now and planned, Oct. 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • DIY home energy saving projects most popular among middle-income empty nesters
                                                                                                                                                      • Figure 35: DIY home improvements in the last 12 months to reduce energy/water bills, by key demographics, Oct. 2010
                                                                                                                                                  • Interest in Energy Efficient Products

                                                                                                                                                    • Key points
                                                                                                                                                      • Consumers interested in a wide range of energy efficient products
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 36: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Women and middle-/upper-income groups especially interested in energy efficient products
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 37: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 38: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Moms are key market for energy efficient products
                                                                                                                                                        • Figure 39: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by presence and number of children in household, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                    • Costs and Incentives in Energy Saving Purchases

                                                                                                                                                      • Key points
                                                                                                                                                        • Seniors unwilling to pay upfront costs of energy saving products
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 40: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Higher-income and educated consumers most likely to pay a premium for energy efficient products
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 41: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 42: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Seniors more aware of government energy efficiency incentives
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 43: Attitudes toward energy efficiency costs and incentives, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Consumers who most need government incentives least aware of them
                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 44: Attitudes toward energy efficiency costs and incentives, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                      • Opinions on Alternative Energy Sources

                                                                                                                                                        • Key points
                                                                                                                                                          • Consumers agree that U.S. must find alternative energy sources
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 45: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternative energy sources, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Lower-income consumers value alternative energy for job creation
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 46: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternative energy sources, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Educated consumers value alternative energy for many reasons
                                                                                                                                                            • Figure 47: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternative energy sources, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                        • Perceptions of Alternative Energy Sources

                                                                                                                                                          • Key points
                                                                                                                                                            • Consumers open to a wide range of alternative energy sources
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 48: Favorability of/familiarity with alternative energy types, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Japanese nuclear disaster has impact on support for nuclear power
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 49: Favorability of alternative energy types, Dec. 2010-Apr. 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Seniors more supportive of fossil fuels and nuclear power
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 50: Favorability of alternative energy types, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • High-income consumers especially favorable toward alternative energy
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 51: Favorability of alternative energy types, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Support for clean coal growing among less educated
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 52: Change in favorability of alternative energy types, by education, Dec. 2010-Apr. 2011
                                                                                                                                                            • Men familiar with more types of alternative energy
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 53: Unfamiliarity with alternative energy types, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • College grads more aware of alternative energy technologies
                                                                                                                                                              • Figure 54: Unfamiliarity with alternative energy types, by education, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                          • Race and Hispanic Origin

                                                                                                                                                            • Key points
                                                                                                                                                              • Geography and homeownership patterns shape racial patterns
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 55: Monthly household utility bills, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 56: Homeownership rates, by race/Hispanic origin of householder, Oct-Dec 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Household energy use lowest among Asians and Hispanics
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 57: Annual household energy use, by race/Hispanic origin of householder, 2005
                                                                                                                                                              • Blacks see electric bills as a reminder to conserve
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 58: Attitudes toward monthly electricity bill, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Asians lead in technology-based energy saving behaviors
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 59: Energy saving behaviors and attitudes, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Asians more interested in energy footprint of purchases
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 60: Attitudes toward energy use by businesses, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Asians and Hispanics key market for green tech devices
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 61: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Asians most willing to pay for energy efficient products
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 62: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Blacks see alternative energy as a job creator
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 63: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternate energy sources, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                              • Japanese nuclear disaster hits home with Asians
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 64: Favorability of alternative energy types, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 65: Change in favorability of alternative energy types, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010 – Apr. 2011
                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 66: Unfamiliarity with alternate energy types, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                            • Cluster Analysis

                                                                                                                                                                • Committed Conservers
                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                        • Somewhat Savers
                                                                                                                                                                          • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                            • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                              • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                • Uninformed and Uninteresteds
                                                                                                                                                                                  • Demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                    • Characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                      • Opportunity
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster characteristics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 67: Energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 68: Energy saving behaviors, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 69: Attitudes toward energy efficiency costs and incentives, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 70: Attitudes toward energy use by businesses, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 71: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 72: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternate energy sources, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 73: Favorability of alternative energy types, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 74: Unfavorability of alternate energy types, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 75: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by energy savings clusters, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster demographics
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 76: Energy savings clusters, by gender, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 77: Energy savings clusters, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 78: Energy savings clusters, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                          • Figure 79: Energy savings clusters, by race/Hispanic origin, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Cluster methodology
                                                                                                                                                                                        • Custom Consumer Groups

                                                                                                                                                                                          • Attitudes toward energy efficiency among different shades of green consumers
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Mainstream attitudes toward energy savings
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 80: Opinions about monthly electricity billing statements, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 81: Attitudes toward monthly electricity bills, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 82: Energy saving behaviors, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 83: Attitudes toward energy use by businesses, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 84: Interest in purchasing energy efficient products, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 85: Willingness to pay for energy efficient products, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 86: Attitudes toward energy efficiency costs and incentives, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 87: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternative energy sources, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 88: Favorability of alternative energy types, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 89: Unfamiliarity with alternative energy types, by green consumer type, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Other Useful Consumer Tables

                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 90: Opinions about U.S. efforts to find alternative energy sources, by urban status, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 91: Unfamiliarity with alternative energy types, by age, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                                • Figure 92: Unfamiliarity with alternative energy types, by household income, Dec. 2010
                                                                                                                                                                                            • Appendix: Trade Associations

                                                                                                                                                                                              Companies Covered

                                                                                                                                                                                              • American Honda Motor Co., Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Federal Trade Commission
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Ford Motor Company (USA)
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Google, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Microsoft USA
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Nissan North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Porsche Cars North America, Inc.
                                                                                                                                                                                              • Toyota Motor Corporation USA
                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
                                                                                                                                                                                              • U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC)

                                                                                                                                                                                              Attitudes Toward Energy Savings - US - May 2011

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