Consumers confused by energy efficiency

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Consumers are not making energy-efficiency improvements due to confusion about the benefits, according to research from marketing company Soluxe Energy Solutions.

The company says most confusion lies in payback periods and return on investment.

"Most energy-efficiency upgrades produce immediate savings, but homeowners continue to believe it will be years before they realize a return on their investment in home improvements," said Gil Kernan, vice president of Contractor Relations. "The whole notion of 'payback time' leads customers to think that it will be years before they see any benefits from investing in energy savings," Kernan said. "Nothing could be further from the truth."

According to Kernan, most energy-efficiency and renewable energy products yield immediate savings, even if the consumer borrows 100 percent of the cost of the upgrades.

"If a customer's monthly payments to a bank are less than his or her payments to the utility, then the benefits are not delayed," he said.

To move energy-efficiency upgrades along and spare some grid demand, utilities should explain how consumers can make investments in efficiencies and renewables, and swap their utility bills for lower bills that are debt repayments, as well as increase the value of their homes and businesses.

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