Insights from the Clean Energy Trends Survey, Part One

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Today we released our second annual report on clean-energy consumer trends. Commissioned by SolarCity and Clean Edge, it’s based on a January 2015 survey of 1,400 homeowners by Zogby Analytics.

The report snaps a picture of factors helping push the double-digit growth of clean-energy products and services.

Digging deeply into the data, we found some surprising—and not so surprising—dynamics at work.*  We’ll be releasing these insights in the days leading up to our webinar on April 20th.  Here are the first round of findings:

How do you think about and plan for the future?

Ask any parent: The thought of one day releasing a child into the world affects your outlook. And, that factor seems to impact peoples’ motivation when it comes to clean energy:

Forty percent of people with a child under 17 said they make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 30 percent of people without a young child.  

People with a young child were also more likely than those without to say they’ve “changed the way they live” to help fight climate change—17 percent to 8 percent, respectively. 

Both groups overwhelmingly cited saving money as a motivator to make clean-energy purchases—84 percent and 81 percent, respectively.

And continuing the “thinking of the future” theme …

Eighty-seven percent of people investing in a retirement plan said they’d make clean-energy purchases for the chance to save money. This compares to 75 percent of non-investors.

Thirty-seven percent of investors said they would make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact. This compares to 29 percent of non-investors.

However, people who described themselves as optimists were less likely than cynics to say they’d make clean-energy purchases for the chance to save money—82 percent to 89 percent, respectively.

Optimists were also more likely then cynics to say they make clean-energy purchases to reduce their environmental impact—37 percent to 30 percent, respectively.

To learn more about the survey, and clean energy trends for 2015, check out the report.

* Based on a confidence interval of 95%, the margin of error for the survey of 1,400 homeowners is +/- 2.7 percentage points. Subsets have a larger margin of error than the whole data set.  We do not rely on the validity of very small subsets of the data, especially sets smaller than 50 – 75 respondents. At that size subset we can make generalizations, but in these cases the data is more qualitative than quantitative.

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