2012 Survey of Virginia Residents on Energy Efficiency

Hart Research conducted a telephone survey among 601 adults throughout the Commonwealth of Virginia to assess the public’s views on energy efficiency and their willingness to take action at home to save energy. This follows a similar survey that Hart did for Virginia Energy Sense in early 2010. Overwhelmingly, Virginians believe energy efficiency is important. They are willing to make changes to their homes and habits to save energy and money and they will invest to a point. Many residents were unaware of the goal set by the Commonwealth to reduce the state’s energy consumption from 2006 levels by 10 percent. Below we summarize the findings from the survey. Highlights from the survey

  • 98% of Virginia consumers feel that saving energy is important
    • 74% say that it is very important
    • Residents of the Roanoke/Lynchburg area are most concerned about saving energy, 84% of participants there said saving energy was very important
  • More than half of Virginians expect energy costs to rise by 10% or more
  • There has been no real change in the number of Virginians who pay attention to the amount of electricity used by their household, 77% in 2012 and 78% in 2010.
    • 35% of Virginians pay a great deal to the amount of electricity used by their household, 42% pay a fair amount
  • 89% of Virginians find homes with energy efficiency upgrades more valuable
  • In 2010, 63% of Virginians believed they could reduce their energy use if motivated to do so, but many were only somewhat knowledgeable on the steps they could take. Today, Virginians continue to believe they can reduce energy costs. Only 27% of Virginians feel they are highly knowledgeable about steps they can take to reduce electricity use but 65% are interested in learning more.
  • In order to save energy and help the environment, Virginians are most likely to:
    • Turn off lights/electronics when not regularly using them,
    • Regularly recycle at home
    • Regularly buy locally grown foods
    • Seal windows, doors and cracks
    • They are also willing to use more energy efficient light bulbs and replace old, drafty windows.
  • In 2008, the General Assembly set a goal for the state to reduce total energy use 10 percent from 2006 levels by 2022. Only 11% of Virginians were aware that the state had set a goal; 63% assumed that no goal had been set.

About Virginia Energy Sense Virginia Energy Sense is the Commonwealth’s state-wide consumer education and outreach program under the guidance of the State Corporation Commission. It was created by the General Assembly to help Virginia residents understand how to save energy at home, work and school in support of the state’s goal to reduce energy consumption by 10%. Saving energy just makes good sense and Virginia Energy Sense encourages all Virginians to “value your power.” The program provides tools and information to help consumers understand their energy bill and take action to reduce it. Visit us at or follow us on Twitter and Facebook.

Lesson Plans
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Get your students energized about responsible energy use! In partnership with the Virginia Department of Education, we’ve created fun, multi-day, Lesson plans to help you teach your students how to understand and conserve energy! They’re classroom-ready and free to use!