NORWALK, Conn.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Concerns surrounding climate change have continued to grow in recent years, driving government efforts, global initiatives and political debates around reducing energy consumption – but for most Americans who plan to make their home more energy efficient in the next 12 months, the biggest motivator for making the changes comes down to the money it allows them to save. Among the two-thirds (66 percent) of Americans that plan to take steps to make their home energy efficient in the next year, 84 percent say saving on their energy bills is the driving factor behind the changes they plan to make. The findings are from the Winter 2016 edition of the HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey from HomeServe USA (HomeServe), a leading provider of home repair solutions and turnkey energy-related services. The survey is a biannual report on the financial impact of home repairs and energy use facing American homeowners, and was conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe in February 2016, among over 2,100 adults ages 18 and older.
Cost Savings Driving Homeowners to be More Energy Conscious
As the presidential election process heats up, major national and global issues from the economy to climate change are amplified and are at the center of regular discussion. While heavily debated legislative efforts such as the Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan hope to create change from a top-down approach, buy-in from everyday Americans on energy efficiency at the household level will also be necessary to see progress on climate change initiatives. HomeServe’s survey results suggest that leveraging the financial benefits of energy savings to influence homeowners to be more energy conscious could be an effective strategy – one which will require significant, collaborative efforts between utilities and capable utility partners to support.
The desire to implement energy efficiency tactics are potentially reflected by other findings from the survey. More than two in five Americans (42 percent) say they expect their winter home energy costs to stay the same compared to last winter, while a quarter (25 percent) expect costs to decrease. The Summer 2015 edition of the HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey, based on a survey conducted in July 2015, found that just 10 percent of Americans expected a decrease in their home energy costs in the following 12 months. The perception during the winter – which generally is a period of time that homeowners experience the highest energy bills – that costs are to decrease, could suggest that warmer global temperatures and a significant decrease in natural gas and oil prices have led Americans to be less concerned about heating costs. This is emphasized by the 41 percent of Americans in the Northeast, who usually endure harsher winters relative to the rest of the country, saying they expect their winter energy costs to decrease compared to last winter. Additional support for this premise can be found by comparing thermostat settings from the July 2015 survey to February 2016. The July survey found 40 percent of Americans saying they planned to adjust the thermostat to be a few degrees hotter/cooler in the following year to make their home more energy efficient, while the February survey found that a lower 36 percent said the same.
“Despite the major issues discussed and debated on the national stage, the majority of Americans appear to be motivated by cutting costs to improve the financial wellbeing of their household,” said Tom Rusin, CEO of HomeServe USA. “Whether it’s energy efficiency improvements or protection from the expense of unexpected, emergency home repairs, HomeServe has continued to empower homeowners with the solutions and support they need to achieve these goals.”
Available Funds for Emergency Home Repairs Still Low Among Homeowners
The February 2016 HomeServe Biannual State of the Home Survey also found that 23 percent of homeowners have no savings set aside to cover the cost of an emergency home repair, a slight improvement from the 25 percent who reported this in July. Of the homeowners that have some money set aside, 43 percent have $1,000 or less set aside, a reduction from the 52 percent reported in the July survey. While the amount of savings homeowners allocated for such costs improved slightly compared to the previous survey findings, the percentages are still concerning, considering the disparity between reality and expectations of homeowners on matters of emergency home repairs. HomeServe found that 69 percent of homeowners thought it was unlikely that they would experience a major home repair emergency in the next 12 months – but more than half (59 percent) reported having experienced one in the past 12 months. Furthermore, that number was up from the 48 percent of homeowners who reported experiencing a home repair emergency in the Summer 2015 edition of the survey.
“We find that many homeowners are still unaware that certain repairs aren’t covered by basic homeowner’s insurance, which leaves them susceptible to the high costs of emergency home repairs they never expected and often can’t afford,” added Rusin. “We have built a reputation on providing reliable, high quality solutions for homeowners that are affordable to protect them from absorbing extra expenses – something that, as our findings suggest, is very important to Americans nationwide and will continue to be in the future.”
For more information on affordable repair plans and energy solutions available from HomeServe, visit www.HomeServeUSA.com or contact HomeServe toll-free at 1-877-444-7750.
This survey was conducted online within the United States by Harris Poll on behalf of HomeServe from February 3-5, 2016 among 2,178 adults ages 18 and older. The 2015 survey was conducted from July 17-21, 2015 among 2,024 adults ages 18 and older. This online survey is not based on a probability sample and therefore no estimate of theoretical sampling error can be calculated. For complete survey methodology, including weighting variables, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
About The Harris Poll
Over the last 5 decades, Harris Polls have become media staples. With comprehensive experience and precise technique in public opinion polling, along with a proven track record of uncovering consumers’ motivations and behaviors, The Harris Poll has gained strong brand recognition around the world. The Harris Poll offers a diverse portfolio of proprietary client solutions to transform relevant insights into actionable foresight for a wide range of industries including health care, technology, public affairs, energy, telecommunications, financial services, insurance, media, retail, restaurant, and consumer packaged goods. Contact us for more information.
HomeServe USA Corp (HomeServe) is a leading provider of home repair solutions serving over 2 million customers across the US and Canada. Started in 2002, HomeServe protects homeowners against the expense and inconvenience of water, sewer, electrical, HVAC and other home emergencies by providing affordable coverage and quality local service. HomeServe, an A+ rated Better Business Bureau Accredited Business, dedicates itself to being a customer-focused company supplying best-in-class repair plans and other services through leading municipal, utility and association partners, and directly to consumers. For more information about HomeServe, a Connecticut Top Workplace winner again for 2015, a 2015 BBB Marketplace Excellence Award honorable mention for Website Marketing and winner of five 2015 Stevie Awards for Sales & Customer Service, please go to www.homeserveusa.com, follow us on www.twitter.com/homeserveusa and like us at www.facebook.com/homeserveusa.