|Abstract or Summary
- The relationship between attitudes toward energy and conservation
behavior was studied in the context of sociodemographic and housing
characteristics. Data were obtained by mail survey from a random sample
of 1,503 Oregon households (Western Regional Agricultural Experiment
Station Project, W-159). The return rate was 55 percent (834).
Attitudes toward energy consumption were obtained by factor analyzing
twelve Likert-type opinion statements toward energy sources. Three
factors accounted for 50 percent of the variance. They were: favor reducing
energy consumption, favor conventional energy sources, and favor
renewable energy sources.
Eight behavioral measures were based on basic structural conservation
features, such as wall insulation and double glazed windows, and
on additional structural features, like wood stoves, solar heating, etc.
Basic and additional features were further divided into features that
already existed when respondents moved into their homes (x̅ = 2.3),
features added by respondents themselves (x̅ = 2.1), and features respondents
planned to add (x̅ = 1.1). In addition, two measures based on no-cost
conservation practices were constructed (x̅= 3.2).
The analysis of attitudinal and behavioral measures proceeded in
three steps, using a multiple regression stepwise procedure. First a
favorable attitude toward energy conservation and a favorable attitude
towards renewable energy sources were found to be related to independent
variables, i.e. perceived seriousness of the energy problem, age, income,
and location in the same way. A favorable attitude towards conventional
energy sources, however, generally related to the demographic variables
in an opposite manner.
In the analysis of behavioral measures, attitudes had only a
moderate effect on behavior. Basic structural measures were more common
in newer homes than in older ones. Respondents who favored renewable
energy sources reported more additional energy saving features than those
who were less favorable. The adoption of no-cost conservation practices
was higher among respondents who favored energy conservation.
In the third step actual energy expenditures were used to determine
the impact of energy related attitudes and conservation behavior on
actual energy expenditures. Attitudes and behavior, although not the
most important determinants of energy consumption, had a significant
impact on the amount of energy consumed in a household.