Our recent survey found that 65% of American consumers in deregulated markets are willing to pay more for green energy over potentially cheaper alternatives (see Figure 1). And yet, of those respondents, only 24% of them currently get their home electricity from eco-friendly sources—a figure that suggests supply isn’t meeting demand (see Figure 2). But what’s really lacking may simply be consumers’ knowledge about how to get green electricity into their homes in the first place, as it may be easier (and more affordable) than they think.
So, why the disconnect? If most people find green energy to be more appealing, why haven’t they switched yet? The survey found that a lack of information seems to be the main culprit: 32% perceive green energy to be too expensive, 30% of the group surveyed don’t believe there are any green energy providers in their area, 27% don’t know how to go about it, and 11% find the process too complicated (see Figure 3). (Despite these answers, it bears reminding that electricity suppliers can offer simplified processes and competitive rates for electricity of all sources, including green energy.)
Pricing is, understandably, a major motivating factor, even for the 88% of those surveyed who say they take climate change somewhat or extremely seriously (see Figure 4). While the environment is top-of-mind for these consumers, they’re also subject to the realities of their pocketbooks: of this segment of respondents, only 70% would confidently make the switch to green electricity, regardless of cost, while 30% would stick to cheaper fossil fuels (see Figure 5).
But of everyone surveyed, one thing is abundantly clear: if they could find a home electricity supplier who can strike a better deal on green energy over electricity generated from fossil fuels, 80% of consumers would gladly make the switch—and only 5% appear to be die-hard fossil fuel fans (see Figure 6).
This study was conducted using Pollfish, an online platform that facilitates statistically accurate surveys between businesses and a diverse group of US residents. 1,000 Respondents were asked the following questions: “Climate change: how serious of a threat is it, in your opinion?”, “Do you think green energy is more expensive than energy from fossil fuels?”, “Which of these home electricity options is more appealing to you?”, “Where does your current home electricity come from?,” “If you're interested in switching your home electricity supply to green energy, why haven't you done so?”, and “If home electricity from green sources was less expensive than non-renewable electricity, would you switch?” This survey was conducted on December 4, 2020.