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In ‘Apathy Gap,’ Energy Efficiency at Home Ranks Low

energy pulseWhen asked what two home improvement projects consumers would consider if they were given $10,000, improvements related to energy efficiency were outweighed by kitchen/bathroom improvements and new flooring.

About 37 percent of consumers listed the kitchen/bathroom as the highest priority, and 33 percent looked to their flooring needs, according to the Energy Pulse 2009 study from the Shelton Group.

Just last year, replacing windows (35 percent) and replacing HVAC/furnace (27 percent) ranked No. 1 and No. 2, respectively.

Consumers would be willing to see their energy costs rise 70 percent before feeling forced to make home energy efficiency improvements, the survey found. Suzanne Shelton, whose firm conducted the study, calls this the “apathy gap.”

“Here consumers are willing to waste more than $1,500 a year, or more than $4 a day, before they’ll take action,” Shelton said.

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One thought on “In ‘Apathy Gap,’ Energy Efficiency at Home Ranks Low

  1. It appears that the word is finally getting out that (with a few exceptions) replacing windows is one of the least sustainable upgrades for a building. See studies by the Department of Energy, Lawrence Berkeley Labs, General Services Adminstration, Pacific Gas and Electric and the National Trust for Historic Preservation. With exceptions for extreme climates and ’70s single-pane, non-thermally broken aluminum windows, the savings in resources is greater if windows are repaired and upgraded rather than replaced. The production/transportion of new products and landfilling of old-growth sash does NOT pan out.

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