New Consumer Survey Points to Strong Grassroots Support for Insulation, Need to Enact Home Star to Spur Jobs, Investment

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A strong majority of American consumers recognizes that installing or updating insulation is the most affordable and among the most energy-efficient methods of retrofitting homes, says a new nationwide survey.

A strong majority of American consumers recognizes that installing or updating insulation is the most affordable and among the most energy-efficient methods of retrofitting homes, says a new nationwide survey.

Half the respondents – unprompted – identified insulation as the least expensive means of energy retrofitting. When told that the Environmental Protection Agency believes that proper insulation could reduce energy bills by 20 to 40 percent for the average American homeowner, nearly three out of four say that cost-savings makes them more likely to install insulation.

“Any Member of Congress who is on the fence about home energy retrofit plans, like the Home Star program legislation pending in the Senate, should study this data,” said Kate Offringa, the CEO of the Council of the North American Insulation Manufacturers Association, which commissioned the poll. “Especially given the record unemployment in the construction and home renovation industries, our survey shows that if we move the market more quickly, spurring jobs and investment by offering rebates, consumers will respond in a big way.”

The survey questioned 800 registered voters across the country to gauge knowledge and use of insulation and other home energy efficiency measures, as well as determine public receptivity to messages about energy efficiency.

“When people think about making their homes more energy-efficient, new insulation is clearly the improvement of choice,” said Offringa. Three quarters (76 percent) of respondents who have already made energy efficiency improvements to their homes have installed new insulation.

Messages about the tangible benefits of insulation resonated well with more than two-thirds of respondents, an impressive majority given the country’s polarized climate. The most powerful message emphasizes the cost-saving benefits of insulation; but messages about the job-creation, environmental, and lifestyle benefits of insulation also register with important demographic groups, among them younger consumers.

“It’s encouraging to see that the general public is aware of how beneficial insulation can be in reducing our nation’s dependence on foreign oil,” Offringa continued. “The fact that many of these messages about energy efficiency benefits resonate best with younger audiences is heartening, since they are the next generation of homebuyers and home renovators.”

In summing up the study’s results, Offringa remarked, “The public clearly appreciates that insulation is a great means of achieving better home energy efficiency. Programs like the Home Star Energy Retrofit Act that empower the consumer to achieve better home energy efficiency can only further the goals of job creation and business investment. The sooner we enact Home Star, the sooner our manufacturers, contractors, and homebuilders can get back to work in regions of the country that have been flat on their back.”

The Home Star rebate program would encourage homeowners and home builders to install energy-efficient materials such as insulation. Independent studies show that Home Star will generate 168,000 jobs in its first 18 months of implementation.

For more information on the results of the Council of NAIMA’s study, please see the attached summary.

About the Council of NAIMA
The Council of the North America Insulation Manufacturers Association advocates for policies and programs that encourage and incentivize increased energy efficiency through insulation in new and existing residential and commercial buildings and industrial applications. Membership in the Council of NAIMA is open to thermal and acoustical insulation manufacturers – regardless of insulation product type – and their suppliers located in North America.

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Tim Gay

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