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make “a very large difference,” while 7 percent say individual action makes no difference at all. On some energy topics, people are in

the dark. Only 1 in 3 reports knowing a lot or a

great deal about the government’s Ener- gy Star product labels, which are meant to help consumers choose energy-ef- fi cient appliances and other products. Even fewer, 25 percent, report detailed knowledge about fuel-effi ciency stan- dards for cars. Not even 20 percent know a lot or a great deal about rebates for en- ergy-saving products, home renovation tax credits or home energy audits.

Overall energy use by people in the United States is four times the

world average. – Energy Information Administration

About 6 in 10 people cite lack of

knowledge about energy-saving prod- ucts as a major reason they don’t do more to conserve. Jennifer Celestino, 29, of Buffalo, N.Y.,


said she might do more if she knew how much energy she was using compared with her neighbors. “If you had information that says,

‘Hey, your household uses more than the typical house in your ZIP code,’ that would get my attention,” said Celestino, a workforce analyst at an insurance com- pany. Lacking hard data, nearly half of

those questioned say they use somewhat or a lot less energy than others in their community, while only 9 percent think their consumption is above average. Overall energy use by people in the

United States is four times the world average, according to the Energy Infor- mation Administration, but Americans use less energy per person than people in countries such as Canada, Norway and Iceland. Average energy use by Americans declined by about 9 percent from 2005 to 2009, largely because of increased effi - ciency of appliances and machinery, and the economic downturn, the EIA said. Dori Spaulding, a stay-at-home mom

from Niceville, Fla., worries about high energy bills, particularly in the summer, but says her hometown “is a hot place and we have small kids.” Her home win- dows are not as effi cient as they should be, Spaulding said, but they aren’t bro-

Associated Press Gas prices are seen at a gas station, in Portland, Ore., on May 24.

ken and “I don’t have 10 grand to replace the windows.” Spaulding, 33, said she and her hus-

band, an Air Force pilot, have considered buying a hybrid or electric car. But for now they drive a minivan and station wagon. She said she needs the room for her two children and the triathlon club she leads, but acknowledged that the ve- hicles fi t her lifestyle. “I think that Americans want what we

want, and we want it now,” she said. The survey was conducted from

March 29 to April 25. It involved land- line and cellphone interviews with 1,008 adults nationwide and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Associated Press Deputy Director of

Polling Jennifer Agiesta and News Survey Specialist Dennis Junius contributed to this report.

Thursday, June 14, 2012 n Page 21

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