Green Innovations

Developing renewable and clean technology companies in New York

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Earthsense releases national survey on appliance rebate program: Will results surprise you?

Three in five adults nationally believe appliance rebates will help them save energy, but more than half (55%) of U.S. adults have no idea that there is a new national rebate program, according to a recent Green Confidence survey conducted by Syracuse-based Earthsense.

Big ticket household appliance purchases such as clothes washers, dryers, dishwashers and water heaters – are made infrequently, with many people waiting until the unit breaks down beyond repair before considering a replacement. In order to encourage consumers to upgrade to more efficient appliances, the government has introduced a new “Cash for Clunkers” program for appliances –“Cash for Appliances” -- as newer appliances have become more efficient consuming energy and usage of water. But instead of one nationally administered program, each state is handling the details itself: 50 individual state programs; 50 different rules; 50 different dates.

The good news is that nearly a third of Americans hope to participate and believe by purchasing new energy-efficient appliances they will make their homes more efficient and lower their energy bills. However, they still have concerns about cost.

Consumers believe benefits of appliance recycling to be:
  • It will make homes more energy efficient -- 59%
  • It will lower monthly utility bills -- 57%
  • People can replace an old appliance with a new one -- 49% 
  • It will stimulate our economy through spending -- 46% 
  • It’s the right thing to do for the environment  --44%
  • People will buy Energy Star appliances who otherwise could not afford them -- 44%
  • It will help create jobs -- 28%

Consumers believe negative effects of rebate program to be:
  • There’s no guarantee that harmful components (Freon, etc.) will be disposed of properly -- 60%
  • It will increase personal debt -- 39%
  • People won’t know how to recycle their old appliances -- 37%
  • It will increase our national debt -- 29%
  • It will replace perfectly good appliances -- 27%
  • No real negatives it’s a win-win for consumers and the economy -- 26%
  • It will increase our trade deficit by allowing purchases of foreign-made products -- 23%
  • No program benefits, it’s just a marketing scam to get people to buy more stuff -- 18%
  • Power use will increase, not decrease, as some people will keep using their old appliances even when they buy new ones -- 13%
Source: Green Confidence Survey 2009
About Earthsense: An applied market research company, headquartered in Syracuse, NY, Earthsens is known for producing the largest, most comprehensive survey on consumers’ attitudes and behaviors on green products and services (Eco-Insights), and co-produces the Green Consumer Survey, which includes a monthly indicator for green consumer activity. For more information: 315-579-0013