TO: Interested Parties
FR: Michael Ramlet and Meghan McCarthy
DT: May 22, 2014
RE: Poll on American's Energy Knowledge and Conservation Efforts
Americans have taken a wide range of energy saving behaviors in the past six months, and overall energy knowledge is relatively low, according to a recent national poll by Morning Consult Energy.
The poll was conducted from April 24-27, 2014, among a national sample of 2,045 registered voters. The interviews were conducted online and the data was weighted to approximate a target sample of registered voters based on age, race/ethnicity, gender, educational attainment, region, annual household income, home ownership status, and marital status. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus two percentage points.
ENERGY KNOWLEDGE LOW AMONG THE AMERICAN PUBLIC
Overall, 11 percent of Americans say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues and problems, 48 percent say they know ‘a fair amount,’ 36 percent say they know ‘only a little,’ and 5 percent say they know ‘practically nothing’ about energy issues. Two in 10 tea party supporters, and nearly two in 10 self-described environmentalists say they feel they know ‘a lot’ about energy issues.
We asked respondents five multiple choice political knowledge questions concerning energy and the overall energy market. Six percent answered four or five correct, 53 percent answered two or three correct, and 39 percent answered 0 or 1 correct.
- Three in 10 Americans correctly state that the United States consumes 20 percent of the world’s energy. Four in 10 say that U.S. consumes 25 percent of the world’s energy.
- Two-thirds correctly say the average number of miles per gallon of gasoline used by vehicles has increased in the past decade.
- Nearly three in 10 correctly state that about 30 percent of oil is imported. More than half of Americans overestimate the proportion of oil imports.
- More than six in 10 (63%) incorrectly say Saudi Arabia is the top source of U.S. oil imports. Two in 10 correctly say Canada is the top source.
- Four in 10 say coal is the largest source of electricity in the United States (correct), compared with 28 percent who say natural gas, 17 percent who say nuclear, 13 percent who say hydropower, 2 percent who say wind, and 2 percent who say solar.
ENERGY SAVING ACTIONS PREVALENT AMONG VOTERS IN PAST 6 MONTHS
In the past six months, eight in 10 (82%) have turned down heat or air conditioning in their home to save money, four in 10 (43%) have bicycled or walked to work instead of driving, three in 10 (30%) have carpooled, three in 10 (29%) have taken public transit, eight in 10 (79%) have bought energy-efficient light bulbs, four in 10 (39%) have purchased an appliance based on its energy rating, three in 10 (27%) have insulated parts of their home, three in 10 (32%) have looked into getting a more fuel efficient car, and one in 10 (10%) have moved in an effort to reduce driving.