MINNEAPOLIS, Sept. 2 /PRNewswire/ -- Most people agree that saving money and being "green" are important — until 100 degree temperatures are involved. Survey findings released today by Honeywell (NYSE: HON) following one of the hottest summers on record found nearly two thirds of American consumers chose comfort over cost savings and conserving energy when temperatures spiked.
Sixty percent of those polled saw their energy bills increase compared to summers past, but those cost increases did not stop respondents from pursuing comfort. In fact, 30 percent of consumers who saw their bills climb said it was well worth the higher costs to stay comfortable.
"We all like to save money and conserve energy, but not at the expense of comfort," said Joe Puishys, president, Honeywell Environmental Combustion and Control. "And that makes sense because people want their homes and apartments to be as pleasant and relaxing as possible. As we transition into winter and face higher temperature set points and utility bills, it is possible for consumers to be energy conscious, save money and stay comfortable at the same time."
Honeywell is reminding homeowners of five simple ways to stay cost conscious and environmentally sound, without impacting comfort:
- Invest in a programmable thermostat: Twenty-five percent of consumers polled stated that they turned off their air conditioning when they were not at home this summer as a way to limit expenses. What consumers may not know is that the amount of energy used to turn cooling and heating equipment on and off can actually cost more than keeping it running at a low level around the clock. According to the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE), for every degree homeowners raise or lower (depending on the season) the set-points on their thermostats over an eight-hour period, they can save one percent on their household utility costs.
- Think of your energy bill as a debit card, not a credit card: Avoid the buy now, pay later mentality. According to the DOE, heating and cooling costs make up almost 50 percent of a homeowner's average annual utility bill ($1,500 on average). The costs add up, so consider moderate energy use throughout the year. Some homes may soon be equipped with energy meters that can gauge energy costs in real-time, cutting down on the "binge now, regret later" experience.
- Use high-powered appliances after 10 p.m.: Like long distance telephone calls, electricity prices during specific times of the day can be more expensive than others. Powering on high-powered appliances like dishwashers, washers and dryers during off hours can offset the price of increased heat or air-conditioning use.
- Take advantage of the energy-saving programs from your utility: Power providers nationwide offer a variety of ways to help their customers better manage energy consumption. This includes everything from home energy audits and lighting retrofits to appliance rebates and demand response programs, which give consumers incentives for automatically cycling air conditioners on and off during the hottest days of the summer. The impact on comfort is negligible, but the opportunity to cut costs is significant.
- Stay informed: Technological advancements like home energy managers and smart-grid-ready appliances are expected to deliver more in-depth energy information and offer substantial savings.
The nationally representative telephone survey of 1,005 American adults, ages 18 and over was conducted during a one-week period in August 2010. The margin of error for the overall study is +/- 3.1% at the 95% confidence level, and is higher for subgroups. The data was weighted by demographic variables to ensure the sample accurately reflects the U.S. adult population.
Honeywell International (www.honeywell.com) is a Fortune 100 diversified technology and manufacturing leader, serving customers worldwide with aerospace products and services; control technologies for buildings, homes and industry; automotive products; turbochargers; and specialty materials. Based in Morris Township, N.J., Honeywell's shares are traded on the New York, London, and Chicago Stock Exchanges. For more news and information on Honeywell, please visit www.honeywellnow.com.
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