A new Oracle Utilities* survey shows that U.S. consumers are eager to ‘go green,’ but don’t necessarily know where to start. Nearly half (45 percent) of respondents said fighting climate change is personally important, and 54 percent want to reduce their carbon footprint. The trouble is that 39 percent of respondents surveyed have never even heard the word ‘decarbonization’ and 67 percent have no, or only a vague idea, where their carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions come from.

Sixty percent of consumers said they would look to advice from their utility company to help reduce energy consumption, but just 20 percent have taken advantage of energy-saving insights so far.

“A growing number of utilities have set ambitious net-zero carbon emission goals. Influencing customers to act, on a scale we’ve never seen, is critical to achieving those targets quickly and affordably,” said Paul McDonald, senior director, Oracle Utilities Opower. “The research shows a lot of people recognize the challenge and want to take action. It’s our job to make it obvious and easy for them to do so. Some utilities are already engaging customers in this journey and they’ve seen that even small actions from a lot of people can make a big impact on achieving their decarbonization targets.”

Other findings include:

  • 52 percent of consumers said that reducing air pollution is personally important;
  • 41 percent said they want to reduce reliance on “dirty energy” by transitioning to renewable energy sources;
  • 37 percent noted they have, or would, shift energy consumption to off-peak times;
  • 45 percent already have, or would, heat or cool their home at more optimal times; and
  • 37 percent already have, or would, take steps to reduce their energy use to help avoid blackouts.

*The results were part of an Oracle Utilities global study conducted by Untold Insights in February 2021. The survey polled 515 U.S. residents and an additional 2,069 consumers in the UK, Canada, France, and Spain to understand their thoughts on climate change and desire to help. Download its decarbonization survey here.

Illustration courtesy Oracle Utilities