Green energy goes beyond red states or blue states

September 25, 2012 by  
Filed under Green Energy News

Democrats may talk a good game about “greening” their homes – adding features that save energy and water.

But Republicans may be more likely to make the changes, a new survey suggests.

Commissioned by California solar leasing company Sunrun, the poll found that 64 percent of respondents who plan to vote for Republican Mitt Romney in this fall’s presidential election made green home improvements during the past five years. Among President Barack Obama’s supporters, 58 percent made similar changes.

Why the difference? Republicans in the poll tended to view green home improvements – such as buying energy-efficient appliances, low-flow toilets and double-pane windows – as ways to save cash rather than save the planet.

“It’s now possible for money-saving measures to be good for the environment,” Sunrun spokeswoman Susan Wise said. “So whether or not the primary motivation is environmental, we’re getting to a place where it makes the most sense anyway.”

The survey, conducted by Harris Interactive, found that both camps were similarly driven by money. Eighty-four percent of Obama supporters said they had made green changes to their homes or their lifestyles to save cash, primarily by cutting their utility bills. Among Romney supporters, 87 percent cited the same motivation.

But among Obama backers, 58 percent said they also made the changes to protect the environment. Just 27 percent of Romney supporters gave that rationale. Only 33 percent of Romney voters in the survey said they believe in global warming.

The poll surveyed 2,334 adults in August.

Romney voters were slightly more likely than Obama supporters, 3 percent to 2 percent, to have installed solar-power systems in the past five years. But 27 percent of all people polled said they were interested in going solar.

dbaker@sfchronicle.com

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