Re: Energy … consumers in denial, blame government (and everybody else)

Excerpted from PR NewsWire, “Obama White House to Face Long-Held Consumer Denial and Awareness Hurdles in Realizing New Energy Solutions”, November 19,2008

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Consumers Blame Government, Assume Little Self-Responsibility

There is  long-held U.S. consumer denial about personal responsibility in driving energy demand and resulting prices; consumers have a’ “tailpipe-driven” understanding of energy use and environmental impact.

Despite government reports documenting that consumers now use more electricity than five years ago, 61 percent of consumers deny using more.

But, 62 percent of Americans indicating they have experienced home utility cost increases of 10-30 percent or more. So, “For the first time in four years, we increasingly see economic concerns driving consumer interest in conserving energy.”

“However, most Americans don’t view their own consumption behaviors or energy-use demand as having much to do with energy costs,” less than one-fourth of consumers mention U.S. consumer demand as most to blame for rising energy prices.

While more consumers are becoming knowledgeable about renewable energy, one-third erroneously think cars and trucks are the No. 1 cause of global warming, while only four percent cite the actual primary culprit of greenhouse emissions: coal-fired electric plants, today’s most prominent source to heat, cool and power buildings – largely homes.

Also of note: most consumers either blamed kids in the home for increased electricity usage.

Oil companies were thought to be the primary culprits for rising gasoline costs (27 percent) — the U.S. government was the second most common answer, at 24 percent.

“What should the government be doing?” The top answers were “should invest more in research to find alternatives” (29 percent), “should be more proactive and develop a plan” (16 percent), and “should allow drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge and / or off the U.S. coast” (13 percent).

The primary reason to participate in energy conservation activities or purchases:

1.) To save money (ranked No. 3 in 2007)

2.) To protect our environment and save natural resources (remained No. 2 from 2007)

3.) To preserve the quality of life for future generations (ranked No. 1 in 2007)

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Full article 

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