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Survey Finds Many Consumers Not Ready to Electrify Their Homes

Most Americans are aware of electric alternatives to fossil fuel-powered household appliances, but are reluctant to switch to devices such as heat pumps, electric water heaters, and induction cooktops, according to a report from the Smart Energy Consumer Collaborative.

The Electrification at Home and on the Road report, which is based on an online survey of 1,500 respondents with an additional sample of 621 electric vehicle drivers, also found that most consumers who own alternative electric household devices either had similar appliances when they purchased their current models or moved into a home that already had these appliances installed.

Of the 23 percent of the respondents who reported having a heat pump in their home, only 18 percent said they switched to it from another type of heating-ventilation-air-conditioning system. Only nine percent of respondents switched to an electric water heater from one powered by fossil fuels. In contrast, more consumers seem to be actively switching to induction cooktops as 27 percent of current owners said they have not always had an induction cooktop in their home.

Most respondents said the main barriers to switching to an alternative electric device are either they do not own the appliances in their homes or they do not understand the pros and cons of switching.

Among respondents that are not open to purchasing a heat pump, 36 percent said they do not understand the pros and cons while 32 percent said they do not understand the benefits and drawback of induction cooktops. For electric water heaters, the second most mentioned barrier, behind not owning their appliances, is electricity is more expensive than other fuel sources in their area.

When it comes to electric vehicles, however, consumers are generally more supportive of switching though they are concerned about public charging infrastructure, the report found. Fifty-six percent of respondents said they are concerned with the charging time at public charging stations, while 44 percent said they are concerned with the cost of public charging, and 43 percent said they are concerned with the availability of charging stations in their area.

The report found that concerns are typically much lower among current owners of electric vehicles, with 21 percent of respondents expressing concern about range anxiety. Slightly more respondents expressed concerns about out-of-order charging stations.

But, overall, they seem to be very satisfied with their vehicles as 98 percent say that they are either very or somewhat likely to purchase an EV for their next vehicle. Overall, 98 percent of respondents said they were either very or somewhat likely to purchase an electric vehicle for their next vehicle.

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