In Going Solar, Americans Cite Cost Savings Over Environmental Benefits
Kiplinger.com reports on results from a recent survey of Californians who have begun using solar to help power their homes and businesses or places of work. The survey found that more than half of the residents installed solar to save money versus about a quarter that said they did to benefit the environment. However, the nonresidents cited financial reasons less at just thirty nine percent.
Posted August 12, 2010
Eco-consciousness has reached the
mainstream, rendering conspicuous consumption increasingly gauche – but
Americans' newfound green attitudes may be motivated by the prospect of saving money, rather
than the planet.
According to a survey of 639 Californian
residential solar adoptees conducted for the California Solar
Initiative, more than half – 52 percent – had installed solar equipment
to save money on energy. Just 26 percent, by contrast, said they had
gone solar to do right by the environment.
nonresidential survey respondents were less likely to cite financial
reasons when asked why they adopted solar technology. Thirty-nine
percent of nonresidential – i.e., business, nonprofit and government –
survey participants said cost savings were their
primary motivator, while environmental concern was No. 1 among just 26
percent of respondents.
The private sector appears cognizant of
American homeowners' desire to save on energy: Solar leasing companies
have sprung up in recent years to offer solar equipment to homeowners
with little or no upfront cost. One, SunRun, announced August 11 that it
would begin serving the Pennsylvania market in the near future.
promises that its customers' electricity bills will be slashed by as
much as 15 percent per month – a tantalizing proposition for homeowners
looking to save money.