U.S. Consumer Attitudes Toward Appliance Efficiency Standards and Purchasing Behaviors by Income, Race, and Homeownership

This Issue Brief serves to inform the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) and policymakers that there is widespread public support for federal appliance energy efficiency standards across key U.S. demographic groups. Supporting evidence is derived from a nationally-representative survey of 4,000 U.S. adults that asked about consumer attitudes towards national appliance standards and payback periods, and revealed new data on appliance purchasing decisions by race, income, and homeownership.

More stringent energy efficiency standards will benefit all consumers through energy bill savings. Survey results indicate high levels of public support for federal energy efficiency standards. Among all respondents, 76% said they support standards. Among different demographic subsets broken out by race, income, and homeownership status, support remained high, ranging from 72% to 82%. Support remains strong in response to questions about support for efficiency standards with different payback periods. The survey showed that 71% of respondents support standards within a three-year payback period and 64% within a five-year payback period. A majority of all respondents, 54%, support standards within a ten-year payback period.