The following is a summary of Virginia public opinions about energy conservation, based on a statewide survey of consumers conducted in April 2010 for Virginia Energy Sense. {In addition to this survey, focus groups were held in locations across the state. We would be happy to discuss findings from those as well.}

  • Virginia consumers believe that if motivated to do so, they could reduce their electricity consumption. More than three in five (63%) Virginians believe that they could reduce at least some of their current electricity usage, including one in 10 (10%) who say they could reduce their electricity usage nearly completely from what they are using today.
  • Most Virginians are paying significant attention to the amount of electricity used in their household. They also believe their household uses about the same amount or less electricity than households of a similar size. Fully 78% report that they are paying a great deal or fair amount of attention to the amount of electricity usage in their household. Three in four (75%) believe that their household uses about the same amount of electricity (26%) or less (49%) than households with the same number of people and of a similar size.
  • While most Virginians are aware of how much they paid in dollars for their last electricity bill, the vast majority do not understand how much electricity they used. Three in four (76%) Virginians say that they know how much their most recent electricity bill was in dollars, but roughly the same proportion (79%) are not able to say how many kilowatt hours they used in that same bill.
  • Most Virginians say that they have at least some knowledge when it comes to steps to reduce electricity usage, and significant proportions of residents already have taken some steps to reduce their consumption. A majority (56%) of Virginians say that they are somewhat knowledgeable about steps that they could take to reduce electricity use and another three in 10 (31%) describe themselves as highly knowledgeable (27%) or an expert (4%). Significant proportions of Virginians say that they already have taken steps to reduce electricity consumption, including changing to more energy-efficient light bulbs (42%), sealing windows and doors with weather stripping (39%), turning off lights when leaving a room (36%), replacing drafty windows with better-insulated windows (33%) and replacing appliances with more energy-efficient appliances (30%).

Hart Research Senior Vice President Allan Rivlin summarizes the survey results: “As the Virginia Energy Sense campaign moves forward, it will be critically important to raise awareness about electricity consumption by educating consumers across the Commonwealth of the many low-cost and practical steps that they can take to both positively affect their pocketbook and help Virginia reach its goal of reducing energy consumption by 10%. The survey results reveal that Virginians support the idea of electricity conservation, especially if it also will save their family some money. Many Virginians have taken some steps to use less electricity, but clearly there is a lot of room for people to do more and for others to come on board.” About the Research Hart Research conducted a survey across Virginia to measure attitudes about electricity, including awareness of consumption and ways to reduce usage,for the State Corporation Commission as part of the Virginia Energy Sense consumer education program. The survey was conducted among 602 residents across the Commonwealth from April 27-29, 2010. The overall statistical margin of sampling error is ±4.0 percentage points for the full main sample and is higher among subgroups. This is the first time these results have been made available to media. With questions, interview requests or for a complete summary of survey findings, reporters should contact Elyse Petroni at, 703.741.7043.

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!