Americans Ready to Reduce Electrical Consumption

Photo Credit: Rexel

Rexel unveils results of the first international survey conducted by Harris Interactive about what’s important to Americans when it comes to energy efficiency. 

Energy efficiency aims to reduce energy consumption without deteriorating the level of service and therefore reduce economic, ecological and social costs. Professionals in this field are very familiar with the issue, but how do American citizens perceive energy efficiency? How do they go about saving energy in their households? Are they prepared to make sacrifices and change their habits? And how do they view energy efficiency, as compared with citizens in France, England and Germany?

Rexel, a leading worldwide distributor of electrical supplies, called on Harris Interactive to ask a representative population from the United States, France, England and Germany for their answers to these key questions. 

The results of the survey reveal that, for most people, energy efficiency is important and requires action. In fact, respondents from all four countries see the subject of energy efficiency as important: between 86 percent and 95 percent of respondents judge the subject as important, of which nearly two-thirds say it is “very important.” 

The survey also found that Americans consider themselves responsible for electrical efficiency and its promotion. They have already adopted some new habits and select applications according to their energy consumption. The issue of energy efficiency also appears to be inextricably linked to financial considerations, as 54 percent of Americans cited the excessively high price of low-energy products as an obstacle in becoming more energy efficient. Consumers are keen to invest in order to reduce their electricity bills as long as they can measure the impact, and see the return on their investment. 

Among all respondents, nine out of ten citizens view energy efficiency as an “important” issue, but after looking at the data they only have a superficial understanding of the measures already taken. 

Although Americans are aware of energy efficiency issues, and believe they are informed about the measures taken in their country, their knowledge is actually somewhat limited. In the U.S. three out of four people claim to have heard that incandescent light bulbs are being phased out, but only 46 percent know exactly what the incandescent lamp phase out means. Similarly, in the U.S., 88 percent of respondents have heard of the Federal and State Government tax incentives related to home heating and ventilation systems and renewable energy devices, however, only 34 percent of them know exactly what it is. 

U.S. respondents said that improving energy efficiency is justified for three important reasons: the desire to reduce expenses (97 percent said good reason, of whom 75 percent consider this to be a very good reason); the guarantee of energy security (95 percent said good reason, of whom 53 percent believe this to be a very good reason); environmental protection (91 percent said this was a good reason).

“This survey shows that we are moving towards a new energy model. As market leader, Rexel is particularly involved in accelerating change through innovative solutions and education that informs our clients how to adopt eco-efficient solutions. As a distributor we continue to play a driving role in energy efficiency issues within the electrical field,” Chris Hartmann, CEO of Rexel Holdings USA, said. “It is also important for people to know that energy efficiency is not a one size fits all approach. Everybody can do their part even on the smallest level by simply upgrading to energy efficient light bulbs, but Americans should know that there are solutions available to accommodate varying levels of budget and energy objectives.” 

American respondents also said that while they pay attention to their energy consumption (89 percent), many lack information about practical steps they can take towards improving their own energy efficiency. Only 33 percent regularly defrost their freezer and refrigerator, 52 percent fill the washing machine to the top before starting the wash cycle and 56 percent shut off electronic devices rather than switching to stand-by.

By publishing this study, Rexel solidifies its role as an industry leader in providing energy efficient solutions within the electrical sector and its active participation in developing partnerships with manufacturers and contractors. Rexel has also set up an information site,, in order to promote awareness of electrical efficiency issues.  

From small everyday habits to dedicated applications, our households are committed to the issue:
Americans are very aware of energy efficiency issues and to some extent have already changed their everyday habits to save energy. For example: 69 percent of Americans purchase low energy light bulbs and 64 percent use power strips. 

As far as investments are concerned, 72 percent of Americans have already, or are willing to, install an environmentally-friendly hot water system, and 75 percentwould consider installing an eco-efficient heating system. 

The issue of energy efficiency is strongly influenced by financial considerations: 
Respondents say they would make 3 types of effort to improve their energy efficiency: efforts in terms of time (76 percent in France, 82 percent in the UK, 75 percent in the USA), investment in equipment that is more expensive to buy but with long-term savings (69 percent in France, 78 percent in the USA), or giving up certain comforts (71 percent in the UK, 61 percent in France, 52 percent in the USA). Respondents were interested in the impact on their personal finances and tended to be torn between spending less in the short term and investments that reduce energy costs in the short and medium term. 

Rexel: a market leader committed to promoting efficient electrical solutions: 
For 85 percent of American’s, distributors of electrical material have an important role to play in the promotion of electrical efficiency. Rexel is committed to promoting electrical efficiency by actively participating in debates and discussing the industry’s standpoints, but also by training and informing installers via its 2,200 outlets and the 

Present in 36 countries, the Rexel group advises clients and selects the best solutions to master energy in buildings, optimize lighting and heating, install intelligent systems to pilot and regulate electricity consumption.