By March 3, 2016 Read More →

Americans choose energy efficiency because of savings, not climate change – survey

HomeServe survey found that 69% of homeowners thought it was unlikely that they would experience a major home repair emergency in the next 12 months – but more than half (59%) reported having experienced one in the past 12 months


Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA

Concerns surrounding climate change have continued to grow in recent years, driving government efforts, global initiatives and political debates around reducing energy consumption – but for most Americans who plan to make their home more energy efficient in the next 12 months, the biggest motivator for making the changes comes down to the money it allows them to save.

Among the two-thirds (66 per cent) of Americans that plan to take steps to make their home energy efficient in the next year, 84 per cent say saving on their energy bills is the driving factor behind the changes they plan to make.

“Despite the major issues discussed and debated on the national stage, the majority of Americans appear to be motivated by cutting costs to improve the financial wellbeing of their household,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA.

“Whether it’s energy efficiency improvements or protection from the expense of unexpected, emergency home repairs, HomeServe has continued to empower homeowners with the solutions and support they need to achieve these goals.”

The findings are from the Winter 2016 edition of the HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey from HomeServe USA. The survey is a biannual report on the financial impact of home repairs and energy use facing American homeowners, and was conducted online by Harris Poll in Feb. among over 2,100 adults ages 18 and older.

Cost Savings Driving Homeowners to be More Energy Conscious

As the presidential election process heats up, major national and global issues from the economy to climate change are amplified and are at the center of regular discussion.

While heavily debated legislative efforts such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan hope to create change from a top-down approach, buy-in from everyday Americans on energy efficiency at the household level will also be necessary to see progress on climate change initiatives.

HomeServe’s survey results suggest that leveraging the financial benefits of energy savings to influence homeowners to be more energy conscious could be an effective strategy – one which will require significant, collaborative efforts between utilities and capable utility partners to support.

surveyThe desire to implement energy efficiency tactics are potentially reflected by other findings from the survey. More than two in five Americans (42 per cent) say they expect their winter home energy costs to stay the same compared to last winter, while a quarter (25 per cent) expect costs to decrease.

The Summer 2015 edition of the HomeServe Biannual State of the HomeSurvey, based on a survey conducted in July 2015, found that just 10 per cent of Americans expected a decrease in their home energy costs in the following 12 months.

The perception during the winter – which generally is a period of time that homeowners experience the highest energy bills – that costs are to decrease, could suggest that warmer global temperatures and a significant decrease in natural gas and oil prices have led Americans to be less concerned about heating costs.

This is emphasized by the 41 per cent of Americans in the Northeast, who usually endure harsher winters relative to the rest of the country, saying they expect their winter energy costs to decrease compared to last winter.

Additional support for this premise can be found by comparing thermostat settings from the July 2015 survey to Feb. 2016. The July survey found 40 per cent of Americans saying they planned to adjust the thermostat to be a few degrees hotter/cooler in the following year to make their home more energy efficient, while the Feb. survey found that a lower 36 per cent said the same.


Available Funds for Emergency Home Repairs Still Low Among Homeowners

The Feb. 2016 HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey also found that 23 per cent of homeowners have no savings set aside to cover the cost of an emergency home repair, a slight improvement from the 25 per cent who reported this in July. Of the homeowners that have some money set aside, 43 per cent have $1,000 or less set aside.


Roof repair emergency

HomeServe found that 69 per cent of homeowners thought it was unlikely that they would experience a major home repair emergency in the next 12 months – but more than half (59 per cent) reported having experienced one in the past 12 months.

Furthermore, that number was up from the 48 per cent of homeowners who reported experiencing a home repair emergency in the Summer 2015 edition of the survey.

“We find that many homeowners are still unaware that certain repairs aren’t covered by basic homeowner’s insurance, which leaves them susceptible to the high costs of emergency home repairs they never expected and often can’t afford,” said Rusin.

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