The Energy Management and Innovation Center in the McCombs School of Business at The University of Texas at Austin recently released their first Energy Poll. The groundbreaking poll measures and reports on consumer opinions and attitudes toward energy consumption, pricing, development and regulation. This look at public perspectives on energy can be used to inform and guide discussion, business planning and policy development. According to the Texas Enterprise "mapping how attitudes change over time is part of EMIC’s vision for the poll. It plans to repeat the survey every six months... [and] will use some of the answers to generate an 'energy sentiment index' — a single number to sum up consumer confidence about energy."
Findings from the first report show that respondents aren't feeling very optimistic about energy policy. A whopping 43% feel like we are moving in the wrong direction when it comes to energy issues that face our nation. And, 41% expect the situation to get even worse in the next 25 years. Consumers are most concerned about consumption of foreign oil, improving energy efficiency, and developing renewable energy. The good news is that the overwhelming majority of consumers (80%) are interested in learning more about how to conserve energy in their own homes. Many of them are planning on making changes in the next 5 years. Just over 30% plan to use "smart meters" and/or buy a hybrid car. A surprising 21% even plan to install solar panels in the same time frame.