Survey: Consumers Reject Lower Energy Use

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Three out of four consumers are concerned by energy and climate change issues, but nearly two-thirds say that using less energy is not the answer to reducing reliance on fossil fuels or foreign energy supply, according to global research by Accenture.

The survey of 9,000 individuals in 22 countries also shows that almost nine out of 10 consumers want more government intervention in the energy market.

The Accenture New Energy World Survey shows the following:

– 90% of consumers are concerned or extremely concerned about rising energy costs, and 76% are concerned about the prospect of energy shortages;

– 83% are concerned about climate change and 80%are concerned about the level of local air pollution; and

– 77% are concerned or very concerned about their country's reliance on other countries providing oil and gas.

However, only a third of respondents say cutting energy should be the top priority in addressing energy issues:

– 37% say using less energy is the answer to limiting their country's reliance on fossil fuels, and 365 say that using less energy is the answer to reducing reliance on foreign countries' providing oil and gas; and

– Two-thirds (63% and 64%, respectively) believe the solution to these challenges lies in developing low-carbon sources of energy.

‘We cannot address climate change or energy security unless we both create new sources of clean energy and reduce consumer demand,’ says Sander van 't Noordende, group chief executive of Accenture's resources operating group. ‘But our survey shows that consumers do not think lower energy use is a priority. It will take many years before renewable alternatives come fully on stream. Until they do, governments and energy companies will have to find creative ways to transform consumer habits and improve energy efficiency.’

When asked who should lead on taking actions to address energy challenges, only 21% of the survey respondents said energy companies should. Almost half (45%) think governments and political leaders should take the lead, and 24% say consumers themselves should lead.

Almost all consumers (85%) think that more government control and intervention are required to address energy challenges.

SOURCE: Accenture Â

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