For example, a recent study by Pike Research found that approval of renewable and alternate energies seems to improve with age and educational achievement.
Americans widely support the concepts of renewable and reusable energy, especially those which are more well-known to the general public, according to Pike’s “Energy & Environment Consumer Survey.”
Take solar energy, for example, which 79 percent of all Americans favor, the study found. Only 52 percent of adults without a completed high school education approve of solar energy, though, while 83 percent of those who attended graduate school do.
Same thing goes for age; 71 percent of consumers under 30 years agree with solar power, but this approval reaches 86 percent for those aged 45 to 64.
While 75 percent of the overall population states approval of wind energy, another well-known alternate power source, only 50 percent of those who didn’t complete high school do, and only 65 percent of adults between 18 and 29 years of age regard it favorably.
While 64 percent approve of hybrid vehicles, which can be powered by both gasoline and non-polluting fuels, only 39 percent without a high school diploma approve. Seventy-two percent of those with education beyond a bachelor’s degree favor hybrids, though, and 68 percent of senior citizens like them compared to 61 percent of the under 30 group.
And differences in educational achievement could have substantial impact on reception when it comes to electric cars, too. Only 43 percent of Americans with less than high school education approve of them, but 69 percent of those with graduate school educations do.
So are experience in life in general and education in particular relevant to environmental awareness?
Well … that remains just a strong possibility, says Pike Research analyst Bryan Davis, who explains that while the study may support that conclusion, it was not conducted with sole purpose to confirm it.
“That is a possible theory,” says Davis, “but there’s no way to confirm it from the survey data,” which breaks down information quantitatively by respondent demographics, but not fully qualitatively.
Also, there are particular enviro-friendly energy sources that are more well-known by younger Americans, Davis noted upon Pike’s blog.
For example, consider LEED; favorable reception of this “Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design,” a rating system on home and building construction operated by the U.S. Green Building Council, is highest for those under the age of 30.
This LEED example could indicate that age of respondents is possibly interrelated to the youth of particular energy concepts. While the relatively-new LEED program is known best and respected most by younger Americans, energy sources of longer standing such as nuclear energy have highest favorable reception from seniors.
While this particular summation could indicate need for improved public knowledge of enviro-friendly energy sources, a general assessment of survey results might indicate this best: overall, an average of 21 percent of Americans admit unfamiliarity with alternate energy concepts. And, and Pike Research’s study alludes, those who are familiar widely approve of them.
By improving education of energy efficiency and environmental awareness, the consumer public could improve practice of these concepts, especially within the youth who will be tomorrow’s leaders.
Pike Research’s “Energy & Environment Consumer Survey” was released on February 7, and is available for download from its website.