U-M survey finds surprising attitudes toward energy costs, environmental impact

Thursday, March 20, 2014
Author: 
Amy Mast

ANN ARBOR—Consumers, on average, believe home energy bills would have to nearly double before forcing them to make lifestyle changes to save on costs, according to a new University of Michigan survey.

Conducted for the first time last fall, the U-M Energy Survey found that consumers anticipate a proportionally greater rise in home energy bills than in the price of gasoline—30 percent for home energy versus 15 percent for gasoline—over the next five years.

According to federal data, the average U.S. household spent about $2,000 last year on home energy, including electricity and other household fuels, and an average of $2,900 per year on gasoline.

A joint effort of the U-M Energy Institute and Institute for Social Research, the quarterly survey gauges consumer perceptions and beliefs about key energy-related concerns including affordability, reliability and impact on the environment.

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