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Page 20 n Thursday, June 14, 2012


Poll: Americans know how to save energy, but don’t want to

Challenges to changing energy use

Many Americans say they are taking steps to consume less energy but see obstacles to changing some habits, according to an AP-NORC Center poll.

How difficult would it be for you and your family to make the fol- lowing changes in the next twelve months?

Very difficult

Moderately difficult

Buying a more fuel efficient car


Installing more/better insulation in your home

Replacing old appliances

Turning up thermostat to 78 degrees in summer

Turning down thermostat to 65 degrees in winter

Turning lights off when you leave the room

17 14 3 6

Not difficult

48% 41 37 34 16 12 80 15 17 20 61 64 16

Already doing this

27 37 34 36 7 5 10 9 5 10 11

NOTE: Poll of 1,008 adults conducted March 29-April 25; margin of error ±3.1 percentage points; may not equal 100 percent due to rounding

SOURCE: AP-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research

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AP ENERGY POLL 060912: Graphic shows ways AP-NORC Center Poll respondents save energy; 2c x 4 inches; with BC-US--Energy Poll; ETA 4 p.m.

Editor’s Note: It is mandatory to include all sources that accompany this graphic when repurposing or editing it for publication

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By MATTHEW DALY Associated Press


comes to saving energy, people in the United States know that driving a fuel- effi cient car accomplishes more than turning off the lights at home. But that doesn’t mean they’ll do it. A new poll shows that while most of

those questioned understand effective ways to save energy, they have a hard time adopting them. Six in 10 surveyed say driving a more

fuel-effi cient car would save a large amount of energy, but only 1 in 4 says that’s easy to do, according to the poll by the AP-NORC Center for Public Af- fairs Research. People also are skeptical of carpooling or installing better home insulation, rating them as effective but impractical. On the other end of spectrum, 8 in

10 say they easily can turn off the lights when they leave a room, and 6 in 10 have no problem turning up the thermostat in summer or down in winter, although fewer than half think those easy steps save large amounts of energy. Even those who support conservation

don’t always practice it. Cindy Shriner, a retired teacher from

Lafayette, Ind., buys energy-effi cient light bulbs and her 2009 Subaru Impreza gets nearly 30 miles per gallon on the

highway. Still, she keeps her house at about 73

degrees year-round, despite government recommendations to turn thermostats to 68 degrees in winter and 78 degrees in summer. “I’m terrible,” Shriner, 60, said in an

interview. “In all honesty we have ex- treme weather in all seasons” in Indiana, she said, and her thermostat settings keep her comfortable. Her parents recently qualifi ed for a

grant under the economic stimulus law that paid for a new furnace and insula- tion, Shriner said. She said such pro- grams are important to improve energy conservation. The public looks to large institutions

for leadership in saving energy, believing that individuals alone can’t make much of a difference. Nearly two-thirds look to the energy industry to show the way toward energy conservation, and nearly 6 in 10 say the government should play a leading role. Democrats, college gradu- ates and people under 50 are the most likely to hold industry is responsible for increasing energy savings. The poll, paid for by a grant to the

AP-NORC Center from the Joyce Foun- dation, shows that just 4 in 10 questioned think their own actions can signifi cantly affect the country’s energy problems. Some 15 percent say individual actions Continued on next page


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