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Saving money vs. helping the environment: It's about the money

SolarpanelsIrfanKhanAmericans are more inclined to make energy-efficient improvements when their actions help save money. They are less motivated by environmental concerns, according to a national poll released Monday by the Tennessee-based research firm Shelton Group.

About a quarter of Americans polled said that they received a rebate or other financial incentive for making an energy-efficient improvement. Most rebates came from a utility or federal tax incentive. Of those who made improvements, 25% said they would not have acted without the incentive.

Changing incandescent lightbulbs to compact fluorescents was the most common change made to save energy (63% of homeowners), followed by weather stripping (55%) and purchasing EnergyStar appliances (49%).

-- Susan Carpenter

Photo: Residential roof-top solar installation. Credit: Irfan Khan / Los Angeles Times

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I'm surprised to see those increases in the amount of people using greener techniques. Many homeowners will not go out of their way to make the environment a better place but they will do anything to save money. But being green isn't only helping the environment. Being green also means being efficient, and being efficient will save you money in the long run. I think it must be logical though before you make a decision to go green with one of your products.

It helps if we are not being nagged by the Cult of Greenism to try to "save the planet". Just give us a dollar value on the savings. If it makes sense, we'll buy it. On the other hand, we could use a bit more CO2. These CO2 reductions are starting to chill the planet too much.


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