Stories from the Energy Survey’s first year, 2014

The U-M Energy Survey was launched in October 2013 and issued a first report in March 2014. It was newsworthy in several ways, not the least of which was the survey’s pedigree as an addition to the nationally recognized U-M Surveys of Consumers. The survey probed consumers’ views on energy in ways that hadn’t been done before. It found that the average consumer’s threshold for energy bill pain — how much they feel they can afford before having to make changes in their lives — is actually fairly high. Another early result was that Americans were just as concerned about the impact of energy on the environment as they were about its affordability. That finding grew stronger as more data came in and before the year was out, survey analysis revealed that concern about the environmental impact of energy had edged out concern about the affordability of energy in terms of statistical significance.

Here is a sample of U-M Energy Survey coverage from 2014:

CBS Detroit (WWJ) – UM Survey Finds Resistance To Energy Lifestyle Changes

Conventional wisdom holds that rising energy prices will drive consumers into lifestyle changes to save money as well as energy. But a new survey from the University of Michigan says that those price increases will have to be extreme: Consumers say home energy bills would have to nearly double before forcing them to make lifestyle changes to save on costs.
…  Read more at CBS Detroit

Michigan Radio – Poll: People worry more about the price of fueling their car than heating their home

People are more worried about being able to afford fuel for their cars than heating their homes. That’s the finding of a new poll by the University of Michigan. The U of M Energy Institute asked people about their energy costs and found that most people are twice as sensitive to increasing gasoline costs than they are to rising home energy costs. John DeCicco is a research professor at the U of M Energy Institute. He says the reason for the higher sensitivity to gas prices may be found by looking through the car windshield.
… Read more at Michigan Radio 

CNBC – Smart homes aim for consumers’ wallets as energy costs soar

As interest builds around innovative “smart home” technology designed to help conserve energy and save money, a new study suggests consumers are slowly hopping on the bandwagon. A brutal winter has left many feeling the pain of soaring utility bills. Yet a new University of Michigan study suggests households have been slow to adopt cost-saving measures, even as most fret about paying more for home energy than gasoline.
… Read more at CNBC.com 

Midwest Energy News – Michigan survey aims for unbiased data on energy

Where energy is concerned, Americans are at least as worried about the environmental repercussions as they are about cost. That is among the findings of a newly-launched quarterly survey being conducted by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute together with the university’s Institute for Social Research. … Energy is a hotly-debated topic in this country, and John DeCicco said it seemed like some scientifically-rigorous opinion data from a disinterested research outfit could prove useful.
… Read more at Midwest Energy News

Fast Company – Are Americans’ Environmental Attitudes Finally Changing?

Treehuggers. Granola types. Stupid hippies. Make a word cloud of all the terms Americans use to describe environmentalists, and it wouldn’t be pretty. But a new survey, conducted twice in the last year by the University of Michigan’s Energy Institute, has found that Americans profess to care just as much about the environment as they do about energy affordability. This round, the environment even won.
… Read more at FastCoExist.com 

Nation Swell – While Our Actions Sometimes Say Otherwise, This New Survey Reveals That We Really Do Care About the Earth

What do you care about more, the environment or your bottom line? As it turns out, Mother Nature is finally trumping bank account balances for most Americans. A recent survey by the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor found that Americans care (or at least say they do) more about the environment than energy affordability. In the past, many studies have asked about this subject by posing it as a trade off — a would you rather, in a sense, pitting dollars and cents over birds and bees.
… Read more at NationSwell.com 

The Daily Climate – Southerners think differently about energy impact – poll

Live in the South and in the market for a new car? Need to replace some light bulbs? Chances are you think a little less than other Americans that your choice will have an impact on the environment. A University of Michigan survey released Tuesday found that Southerners are less likely than Americans elsewhere to believe that energy affects the environment.
… Read more at DailyClimate.org