Most U.S. homeowners support renewable energy and want more options in clean energy products and electricity supply, according to a national poll paid for by Clean Edge Inc. and SolarCity.
National polling firm Zogby Analytics conducted the poll online in January, surveying about 1,400 homeowners across the U.S.
Eighty-eight percent of the homeowners said they support renewable energy. Sixty-nine percent said they want more choices in accessing and purchasing electricity, and 73 percent said they would welcome an inexpensive and reliable form of energy provided by someone other than their current utility. Three out of four respondents, particularly those identifying as Republican, conservative, middle aged or elderly, believe utilities should not be allowed to block individuals from installing solar power or other onsite systems.
"Other surveys have looked at general green-consumer activity, but ours is among the first to focus on U.S. homeowners - a group that makes the majority of clean-energy residential purchases," Ron Pernick, Clean Edge managing director, said in a statement Monday.
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More than half (62 percent) said they want solar power and half said they want backup power for their homes. The two top reasons listed for considering solar were zero up-front costs and ongoing cost savings.
If the respondents accurately represent the country, there could soon be a boom in the solar industry. Currently in the U.S, there are more than 75 million owner-occupied housing units but fewer than 500,000 solar photovoltaic installations.
The survey also shows homeowners are increasingly considering the environment in purchasing decisions.
According to the survey, the most popular planned clean energy purchases this year will be LED light bulbs (31 percent of homeowners), followed by smart thermostats, double- and triple-pane windows, hybrid cars and Energy Star-rated hot water heaters.
Clean Edge and SolarCity plan to release a comparable survey annually.