News coverage in 2015

Stories during the Energy Survey’s second year picked up on our findings about the average U.S. consumers’ relatively high thresholds of “energy price pain.” Reporters interpreted our data as further evidence for the challenges faced by efforts to motivate consumers, even “green” consumers, to conserve energy. Coverage also noted the relatively high level of concern about the impact of energy on the environment that we identified. But as we pointed out when asked about our results, such findings don’t necessarily mean that consumers are willing to pay more for energy that addresses their environmental concerns, even if they feel that energy bills would have to more than double before they found them to be unaffordable.

Politico Morning Energy – Home energy is affordable at twice the price

Consumers feel their home energy costs would have to more than double before they had to use less or reduce other expenses to compensate, according to a new index created by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute and released today. The university’s energy affordability indices are modeled on U-M’s Survey of Consumers, and like their progenitor, the surveys ask questions of consumers about how much their own bills for things like gasoline, electricity, and home heating would have to rise before they became unaffordable.
… Read more at Politico

Utility Dive – Americans could pay more for clean energy. But will they really?

Americans could — and often say they would — pay more for greener power. They just don’t. A study released this year by the University of Michigan shows that U.S. consumers are just as concerned about energy’s impact on the environment as they are about its affordability. In fact, consumers say they could pay more than double their current home energy bill before they’d have to make significant changes.
… Read more at 

Breaking Energy – Energy News Roundup: UM Survey on American Energy Consumers

A new University of Michigan study has revealed that the average American consumer factors personal concern, primarily income, into their attitudes about energy. “Americans are just as concerned about energy’s impact on the environment as they are about its affordability, according to first-year results of the University of Michigan Energy Survey. Consumers also express much greater sensitivity to higher gasoline prices than they do to higher home energy bills.
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Washington Post – Why 50 million smart meters still haven’t fixed America’s energy habits

Five years ago came the promise: A great new way of saving money on your energy bills was on its way. An impressive new device called a “smart meter” —  a key component of the much touted “smart grid” —  would let consumers actually see how much power they’re using in their homes, thus empowering them to change their habits and slash their bills. … [links to U-M Energy Survey when pointing out that] Americans are quite price sensitive when it comes to gasoline.
… Read the full story at The Washington Post

CleanTechnica – New Survey Reveals American Attitudes to Energy and Environment

A new survey conducted by the University of Michigan has concluded that Americans are as concerned about energy’s impact on the environment as they are about energy’s affordability. According to the survey, consumers are much more sensitive to higher gasoline prices at the pumps than they are higher home-energy bills.
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