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It Ain’t Easy Going Green

by Prosper on 04/22/08

In observance of Earth Day, Prosper surveyed US consumers last week to better understand their financial attitudes towards implementing eco-friendly home improvements.

The main finding is that although consumers have a strong desire to implement energy-saving home improvements, they are deterred by the high costs of these projects:

  • 91% care about conserving natural resources
  • While 60% of survey respondents listed ‘saving money on bills’ as an incentive to adopt a green lifestyle, 75% of respondents indicated that they are deterred from pursuing energy-saving home improvements due to high costs of implementation.

As a community for social lending, Prosper offers eco-conscious Americans with good credit histories a way to connect with their like-minded peers to fund green projects in an affordable way. A separate survey of Prosper lenders found that 25% of respondents have bid on borrowers’ loan listings to support green projects, and 93% of respondents would consider bidding on such listings.

1. Are you concerned with conserving natural resources?

Answer # %
Yes 515 91%
No 54 9%

  
 

2. Which of the following is the number one incentive for you to implement energy saving personal / home improvements? (please select only one)

Answer # %
Conserving natural resources 176 31%
Increasing the value of my property 34 6%
Saving money on bills 344 60%
Other, please specify 16 3%

  
 

3. What is the number one deterrent for you to implement energy-saving personal / home improvements? (please select only one)

Answer # %
Cost 430 75%
Time to implement improvements 101 18%
Seeing no need to implement energy saving personal and home improvements 14 2%
Other, please specify 25 4%

  
 

4. What types of personal / home improvements have you invested in to save energy? (please select all that apply)

Answer # %
Bicycle 67 12%
Built-in water purifier 73 13%
Compact fluorescent lights 388 70%
Energy-efficient clothes washer / drier 205 37%
Energy-efficient dishwasher 178 32%
Energy-efficient water heater 180 32%
High efficiency shower-head 184 33%
Hybrid automobile 31 6%
Insulation 225 40%
Organic foods and products 156 28%
Recycled products 345 62%
Sustainable flooring 31 6%
Reusable grocery bags 284 51%
Solar energy panels 16 3%
Water saving toilet 242 43%
Other, please specify 48 9%

  
 

5. About how much did you spend in 2007 on energy saving personal / home improvements?

Answer # %
$0 to $100 206 36%
$100 to $500 167 29%
$500 to $1000 94 16%
$1000 to $5000 67 12%
$5000 to $10000 22 4%
$10000 to $25000 9 2%
More than $25000 5 1%

  
 

6. What types of personal / home improvements do you plan to implement in 2008 to save energy? (please select all that apply)

Answer # %
Bicycle 45 8%
Built-in water purifier 34 6%
Compact fluorescent lights 203 38%
Energy-efficient clothes washer / drier 54 10%
Energy-efficient dishwasher 46 9%
Energy-efficient water heater 46 9%
High efficiency shower-head 70 13%
Hybrid automobile 44 8%
Insulation 73 14%
Organic foods and products 126 24%
Recycled products 202 38%
Sustainable flooring 24 5%
Reusable grocery bags 181 34%
Solar energy panels 21 4%
Water saving toilet 68 13%
Other, please specify 78 15%

  
 

7. How much do you expect to spend on energy saving personal / home improvements in 2008?

Answer # %
$0 to $100 182 32%
$100 to $500 171 30%
$500 to $1000 98 17%
$1000 to $5000 72 13%
$5000 to $10000 17 3%
$10000 to $25000 12 2%
More than $25000 16 3%

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