A rising belief that energy use affects global warming

This report highlights some notable trends in consumer views about the link between energy use and the environment as observed over the 17 quarterly survey samples analyzed to date, from Fall 2013 through Fall 2017. Not only do a rising number of Americans say that energy use affects the environment “a lot,” but a significantly growing portion of the population believes that global warming is the aspect of the environment most affected by energy use. That’s a view now held by 36% of U.S. consumers, compared to 25% when the survey started in Fall 2013.

Workers rescuing residents of Fayetteville, NC, homes flooded by Hurricane Matthew in October, 2016.

Rescue workers evacuating residents of homes in Fayetteville, NC, during floods caused by Hurricane Matthew, October 2016. Credit: U.S. Army National Guard

Other highlights from the report include:

  • Americans are more concerned about the effect of energy on the environment than they are about the affordability of energy, and much more concerned about the environmental and cost impacts of energy than about its reliability.
  • The belief that global warming is the environmental concern most affected by energy use has risen twice as fast among women as it has among men.
  • The South in particular has seen a large jump in the belief that global warming is the aspect of the environment most impacted by energy use, with the number of Southerners holding that view rising from 20% of in Fall 2013 to 34% as of last year.

Moreover, both the degree of belief that energy use affects the environment and levels of concern about the issue are fairly uniform across income brackets, in contrast to the differences in perspective seen by gender and by region.

For further details, download the report: A Rising Belief that Everyday Energy Use Affects Global Warming.