Majorities of Americans say that they are knowledgeable about energy sources, but are they making changes and taking advantage of what is out there to monitor their own usage? According to the Harris Poll, an online survey conducted of 2,056 adults between February 6 and 13, 2012 by Harris Interactive, a custom market research firm, fewer than half of Americans have installed energy-efficient windows (28 percent) or added insulation to an attic, crawl space or accessible exterior windows (27 percent).

Of those who have installed energy-efficient windows, 31 percent were in the east while 23 percent were in the south. In addition, 38 percent of respondents have applied weather stripping around doors or windows to stop air leaks. Of those respondents, 41 percent were located in the east while 34 percent were in the west.

According to the report, one way utilities around the country are helping households control energy costs is with Smart Meter technology. Yet just one in five Americans (21 percent) say they have been contacted by their utility or co-op about this or other energy efficiency tools. It seems to be used more in the West as one-third of those living there (32 percent) have been contacted compared to just 16 percent of Midwesterners.

According to survey results, if homeowners could control their home energy use and lower energy costs with a computerized dashboard in their home, almost half of Americans (48 percent) say they would be likely to install such one in their home, even with the understanding that they would have to proactively manage their energy use. Three in ten (31 percent) are neither likely nor unlikely to install this and one in five (21 percent) are unlikely to do so. The report notes that the likelihood is a little soft as just 13 percent are very likely to install this dashboard and one-third (35 percent) are somewhat likely to do so.

One reason this dashboard may work is that Americans would prefer to control their energy usage. If they were allotted a maximum amount of energy for daily use that varies during peak energy usage periods, seven in ten U.S. adults (69 percent) would prefer to manage that energy distribution themselves while only 9 percent would prefer to have their utility manage their energy use; one in five (22 percent) are not sure.

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