U.S. consumers are desperate to save energy. 98% of U.S. homeowners surveyed as part of the Lennox Home Energy report card say they want to conserve energy, to either help save money and/or protect the environment. Homeowners give themselves above average marks in energy conservation; half of homeowners (50 percent) gave their household a “B” when grading their household energy efficiency, while less than one third (19 percent) gave themselves a “C.”

“Though most people make an effort to be energy efficient year-round, the summer season makes it a more top-of-mind issue, given that electricity bills are on the rise and homeowners are starting to feel it in their pocketbook,” said Lennox energy efficiency expert Bobby DiFulgentiz. “A few simple actions can help homeowners increase comfort and cut costs without investing a lot of time and effort.”

Homeowners shared their efforts on conserving energy at home, which include changing air filters regularly, (84 percent), turning down the temperature on the hot water heater (68 percent), utilizing programmable thermostats (60 percent) and unplugging electronics when not in use (50 percent, up 6 percent from 2013). More homeowners are willing to replace old, inefficient air conditioning units with a more efficient model (59 percent, up 9 percent from 2013) and use solar energy to power appliances (24 percent, up 4 percent from 2013) than last year. Although solar energy installations and newer heating and air conditioning units are investments in the home, homeowners are seeing past the sticker price and realizing the long-term benefits of more significant upgrades and changes.

More people than in past years (39 percent, up 9 percent from 2013) said they would turn off their air conditioning system completely, an action that actually may earn a failing grade.

“While turning off your air conditioning or heating system seems like a good idea in theory, it is really making your unit work overtime,” said DiFulgentiz. “Installing a ‘smart’ programmable thermostat – one that allows users to adjust the temperature in a home from anywhere through a website or app,  is a good solution to help balance comfort and efficiency while maximizing savings.”

Consumers who are interested in alternative energy use are typically men (67.8%) and 80.6% are homeowners according to Ad-ology Research. Over 85% of these consumers say they agree or strongly agree that they will shop at a specific store to support a specific cause or charity. Retailers who position their energy-saving hardware as being good for the environment may be targeting this audience in just the right way. In addition, 47.6% of consumers who are interested in alternative energy use say that they’ve seen a newspaper ad in the past 30 days which has led them to taken action, a rate that is 61% higher than average.

AudienceSCAN data is available as part of a subscription to Ad-ology PRO. Media companies can access AudienceSCAN data through the Audience Intelligence Reports in AdMall.