SOURCE: Washington Energy Services

Washington Energy Services

April 07, 2015 09:00 ET

Northwest Energy Survey Reveals Green Habits of Homeowners, How They Stack Up to Neighbors and Generational Differences

LYNNWOOD, WA--(Marketwired - Apr 7, 2015) - This Earth Day are you a shining green example or a greenhorn when it comes energy efficient habits at home and in your community? Washington Energy Services in its semi-annual Northwest Energy Survey asked homeowners about their green practices, and findings released today reveal respondents' top practices, where they're lagging as well as community and generational differences.

Green Energy Practices at Home

About 50 percent of homeowners in Western Washington say they are always thinking about ways to be more energy efficient and most are practicing good green habits at home. Respondents were asked what energy practices they conduct at home and results were admirable, but there's room for improvement.

97% recycle
66% program thermostat
65% use low flow toilet or shower
54% regularly maintain furnace
52% compost (however, in Seattle only one in three compost despite the new law requiring homeowners to compost)
49% have installed proper insulation

Younger Generation Prefers Greenbacks over Green Living

Two-thirds of survey respondents age 25-34 say they primarily do things to save money and if it helps the environment too, it's a bonus. This compares to older respondents (age 55-plus) of whom just over half would agree.

There are other differences too when it comes to which green home practices are most prevalent among the younger verses older generation.

Green Practice   Gen Y   Boomer
Program thermostat   42%   67%
Furnace maintenance   27%   67%
Low flow toilets/showers   60%   72%
Proper home insulation   33%   55%
Compost   43%   52%
Recycle   100%   96%

Are There Still Litter Bugs?
Not many. In a 2011 survey, 79 percent of respondents reported they do not litter and in 2015, 92 percent adamantly denied littering. Respondents also reported what they would do if they saw someone littering. Three out of four would turn a blind eye and pick up the litter themselves, while the minority would call someone out for littering. Men are more likely to call someone out than women (27 percent vs. 21 percent).

South King County Edges Ahead

When asked about how they think about energy efficiency, most Western Washington communities responded positively. But top honors go to South King County homeowners of whom 53 percent reported they are always thinking about ways to be more energy efficient. Other communities: Tacoma 51 percent; The Eastside 51 percent; Seattle 49 percent; and Snohomish County 48 percent.

Homeowners peering over their fences have something to say too. Forty-five percent of those surveyed said they are a little more or by far more energy conscious than their nearest neighbor.

Other Survey Tidbits

Respondents were asked if they thought most green products are just marketing hype, 21 agreed with this statement. Men were more likely to agree at 26 percent compared to women at 17 percent.

When survey takers were given a choice between changing their furnace filter and having their teeth cleaned, it was clearly changing the furnace filter at 69 percent. When asked about poor energy habits, four out of five said they would be more likely to leave a light on when exiting a room than leave an exterior door open.

Survey Methodology

The Northwest Energy Survey was conducted online by Washington Energy Services among 1,065 homeowners, age 25+, living in Western Washington between Jan. 25 and Feb. 27, 2015 (survey results are weighted against the Washington State U.S. census projections for 2013 and percentages for some questions are based on a subset who responded to certain questions).

About Washington Energy Services

Washington Energy Services is a family owned business that has exclusively served the Puget Sound region since 1957. The company specializes in tailored solutions for homeowners looking to create a more comfortable, energy efficient home. Recognized by Puget Sound Energy as an Energy Efficiency Leader, Washington Energy Services provides a broad range of home energy solutions including home energy audits, heating and cooling, plumbing services and window and door installations. The company is committed to the region and giving back through its WESCare program that provides in-kind support to veterans in need and local nonprofit organizations. The company headquarters and showroom is located in Lynnwood, WA. More information on its products and services can be found at or connect on Facebook.

Contact Information

  • Media Contact:
    Marci Maule Housley
    Mpact Public Relations
    Email Contact