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88% of American homeowners support renewable energy

18 March 2014
88% of American homeowners support renewable energy

NEW YORK: Demand for renewable energy is considerably high with 88% of American homeowners stating they support it, a national poll commissioned by Clean Edge Inc. and SolarCity has found.

The study, which was conducted during January 2014 by Zogby Analytics, reveals that 69% of those surveyed desire greater options when it comes to their energy and electricity supply, with 73% expressing an interest in clean energy provided by an entity other than their utility.

The demand for diversification in energy providers was accompanied by a high level of individual attraction to solar energy for their homes. A significant 62% of the 1,400 respondents said that they would be interested in solar for their houses which is particularly noteworthy given that there are 75 million owner-occupied housing units throughout the US.

Clean Edge managing director Ron Pernick, commented: “The shift to clean-energy solutions was deep and wide across all demographics. Indeed, consumers not only want choice, but also want to protect their right to install their own distributed energy and storage systems.”

Solar energy has rapidly grown recently, and more solar panels were installed in the US in the last 18 months than in the previous three years, according to a separate report from GTM Research and the Solar Energy Industries Association’s (SEIA).

In the fourth quarter of 2013 alone, 2,106 megawatts of solar energy accounting for a massive 44% of America's annual total.

Zero up-front costs and ongoing savings were the main factors for choosing solar, the homeowner study found. However, an alarming number of respondents were unaware of the decline in solar cost in recent years. Fewer than 50% of homeowners across American states realized that solar panel prices have been cut considerably over the past three years.

Looking to the year ahead, the most popular clean energy investments were LED lightbulbs, smart thermostats, double- or triple-pane windows, hybrid cars, and Energy-Star rated hot water heaters, SolarCity and Clean Edge Inc's poll found.

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By Alana Ryan

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