Saving the Planet (If It Pays)

In renovating their homes, are consumers willing to spend extra to make the place “environmentally friendly”? It depends on whether the project is also wallet-friendly, according to a survey of homeowners fielded in July by Ipsos Reid (on behalf of Icynene, which makes insulation).

Given a choice of three statements and asked to pick the one that best matches their own opinion, 15 percent said flat out that they “would not spend additional funds to make my home environmentally friendly.” Men were twice as likely as women (20 percent vs. 10 percent) to put themselves in this category. And in a breakdown by age, 18-34-year-olds were much more likely than those 55-plus to do so (19 percent vs. 13 percent).

At the other end of the spectrum, 12 percent of the survey’s homeowners said they’d spend the extra money on making their home planet-friendly “even if it didn’t save me money in the long run.” This left the 73 percent who combined eco-virtue with self-interest, saying they’d lay out the extra funds, “but only if I saved money in the long run as a result.”