Homeowners nearly unanimous on need to reduce their environmental impact, yet few doing 'a lot' to reduce greenhouse gases



    
    Energy bills more likely to spur environmental action than desire to save
    planet for future generations
    

    TORONTO, Aug. 27 /CNW/ - Overwhelmingly Canadian homeowners (95%) agree
it's important to reduce their impact on the environment, yet only 16%
acknowledge doing 'a lot' to help reduce greenhouse gases by improving energy
efficiency at home, according to a new survey by Ipsos Reid for Icynene(R).
    When it comes to spurring environmental action, homeowners are more
likely to be motivated to reduce energy use and greenhouse gases by rising
energy costs (82%), than by a desire to save the planet for future generations
(76%) or by news about climate change (66%).
    The survey also found a little more than one in ten (14%) homeowners are
willing to spend more money to make their homes more environmentally friendly,
without guarantees of making back their investment.
    "It's clear that Canadian homeowners are conscious of their potential
impact on the environment," says Sean Simpson, Research Manager for Ipsos
Reid, "yet financial issues are still more likely, than straight concern for
the environment, to get them to act on climate change."

    Adjusting thermostat, driving less

    The survey found most (86%) homeowners either have or will be taking at
least some steps to reduce their environmental impact at home due to rising
energy costs:

    
    -   More than 8 in 10 homeowners have or will be turning the thermostat
        down/up by three degrees Celsius or more

    -   More than 8 in 10 homeowners have or will be reducing their
        automobile use

    -   Three quarters of Canadians have or will be turning off the furnace
        or air conditioner (for some period of time)

    -   More than two-thirds (68%) have or will be investing in energy
        efficient upgrades worth $1,000 or more, such as adding insulation
    

    Reducing costs, greenhouse gases

    Tom Kraeutler, home improvement journalist, radio host and Home
Improvement Editor for AOL, says homeowners are opting to take simple steps to
reduce energy use and costs, but by investing more they could realize a far
greater financial return and significantly reduce their greenhouse gas
emissions and environmental impact.
    "Installing an insulation/air barrier system, for example, could enable
an average family of four, living in a home heated with Natural Gas, to cut
their energy use and costs by up to 50% and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
as much as 4,000 pounds per year," says Kraeutler.

    Canadians appear to be more environmentally conscious than Americans

    Results of an identical Icynene/Ipsos Reid poll with 1,000 U.S.
homeowners allow for some interesting comparisons with Canadians:

    
    -   Canadians (16%) are more likely than Americans (11%) to agree they
        have done 'a lot' to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by
        increasing their energy efficiency at home

    -   Canadians (48%) are more likely than Americans (38%) to give
        themselves a 'great' rating (seven or higher on a scale of one to
        nine) when asked to rate the actions/behaviours of their family in
        terms of how environmentally-friendly they are in the home

    -   Canadians (66%) are more likely than Americans (52%) to agree that
        news about climate change has caused them to become more energy
        efficient at home

    Atlantic Canadians, women score high marks for environmental action

    According to the survey, women are more likely than men, and Atlantic
Canadians are far more likely than Albertans to be environmentally conscious
and active:

    -   Atlantic Canadians (90%) are the most likely and Albertans (68%) the
        least likely to agree that a desire to be more energy conscious and
        environmentally responsible has caused them to become more energy
        efficient and to reduce their environmental impact at home

    -   Women (63%) are much more likely than men (48%) to 'completely
        agree' that it's important for them to reduce their impact on the
        environment whenever possible; women (40%) are more likely than men
        (34%) to agree that they are deeply concerned about rising energy
        costs and are taking a number of significant steps to reduce energy
        consumption at home

    -   Albertans (46%) are most likely and Ontarians (24%) least likely to
        agree that they have done 'a little' or 'nothing at all' to help
        reduce greenhouse gases by improving energy efficiency at home
    

    About the survey

    These are the findings of an Ipsos Reid poll conducted from July 5 to
July 9, 2008. This online survey of 1,035 Canadian homeowners was conducted
via the Ipsos I-Say Online Panel, Ipsos Reid's national online panel. The
results are based on a sample where quota sampling and weighting are employed
to balance demographics and ensure that the sample's composition reflects that
of the actual Canadian population according to Census data.
    Quota samples with weighting from the Ipsos online panel provide results
that are intended to approximate a probability sample. An unweighted
probability sample of this size, with a 100% response rate, would have an
estimated margin of error of +/- 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

    About Icynene

    Icynene Inc. is the leading manufacturer of soft foam insulation products
that are designed to help create Healthier, Quieter, More Energy Efficient(R)
homes. For more information about Icynene, visit www.icynene.com.





For further information:

For further information: on the survey or on how homeowners can help
reduce their production of greenhouse gases, by reducing their energy
consumption at home, please contact: Peter Boyce (ext. 231) or Erin Stewart
(ext. 265), Harbinger, (416) 960-5100

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