Australians, Americans, and Canadians split on the significance of green energy, survey finds

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green energy

Climate change has been reported on for years – and the seeming lack of serious investment by governments to solve the issue has incensed climate protesters around the world over the past decade.

But apart from climate change protesters, do people really care about limiting their emissions and transitioning to green energy? Do people know what ‘green’ energy actually means?

A new survey by Compare the Market reveals Australians, Americans and Canadians are pretty split on the issue, both in how important lowering their carbon footprint is and in whether they are planning on using green energy or not.

Americans were the most concerned about low carbon footprints, with 19.5% and 28.4% of American respondents choosing these responses respectively. For Canadians, 16.7% said a minimal carbon footprint is extremely important, and 26.5% said it was fairly important.

On the other hand, however, Australians were the most likely of the three countries to say it was not at all important, with 8.2% of Australians choosing this response compared to 7.8% of Americans and 6.5% of Canadians. Australians were also the most likely to say it was only somewhat important, with more than one-in-four choosing that response (26.6%). Almost 26% of Canadians felt the same, compared to only 18.3% of American respondents.

low carbon footprint

When asked whether they currently had a green energy plan or used green energy in any way (such as by utilising solar panels), Canadians were the most likely to be considering it, followed by Australians and then Americans (46.2% compared to 35% and 33.1% respectively).

However, the second-most popular response was “no, I don’t plan on going green.” This was slightly more common among Australians, with 22.8% of Aussies surveyed selecting this response, compared to 21.6% of Americans and 21.3% of Canadians.

green energy plan

As for the definition of green energy, a lot of people think that green energy is power that comes from a clean or renewable source that’s emissions-free, but that isn’t quite accurate. Meredith O’Brien, Head of Energy at Compare the Market, explains.

“A lot of people think that the term ‘green’ energy refers to things like solar power or hydro power, but ‘green’ energy simply refers to power that supports ongoing investment into renewable energy production,” O’Brien explains.

When asked what they thought the term ‘green energy’ means, most respondents said it was renewable energy, or “energy that’s good for the environment”. For those who got it right, most were American, with 17.9% of USA respondents choosing the correct response.

“There are a few different ‘greener’ energy plan options available from Australian energy providers. These plans will offset anywhere between 10 or 20% and 100% of your electricity use with clean renewable electricity,” says O’Brien.

“Look for plans that are GreenPower Accredited, which is a government program that has strict criteria on electricity production. Each accredited offering will clearly tell you how much of your electricity use as a percentage will be offset with renewable power.”

For the full research, including additional graphs and statistics, visit:

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