3.3 Product Attributes and Performance
A third goal of the national ENERGY STAR education campaign has been to inform consumers that ENERGY STAR qualifying products are more energy efficient than non-qualifying models. The degree to which this goal is being accomplished is addressed in the 2009 survey by asking respondents their level of agreement or disagreement with the statement “If I see the ENERGY STAR label, I know I’m getting a much more energy-efficient product.” Sixty-nine percent of respondents either strongly or somewhat agree with this statement. This indicates a high perception among consumers that the ENERGY-STAR label indicates superior performance with respect to energy efficiency relative to products without the label.
The survey addressed perceptions of product quality. Survey respondents were asked the level at which they agreed or disagreed with the statement “When I buy a product with the ENERGY STAR label, I can always be sure it’s high quality.” The results show that 34 percent of households either strongly or somewhat agree with this statement—almost three times as many as those who strongly or somewhat disagree—52 percent are neutral. Household agreement and disagreement with this statement is similar to last year’s results.
A number of attitudinal statements were included in the survey to measure consumers’ perceptions of ENERGY STAR-labeled product value. One of these statements is “ENERGY STAR products provide me with more benefits than products without the ENERGY STAR label” The results show that half of households (50 percent) either strongly or somewhat agree with the statement, while only nine percent of households disagreed (forty-one percent were neutral). However, on another statement “ENERGY STAR-labeled products offer better value than products without the label.” The proportion that either strongly or somewhat agrees in 2009 was 35 percent, down from 41 percent in 2008 (p-value = 0.055). A similar proportion disagreed (10 percent in 2009, 8 percent in 2008) and were neutral (55 percent in 2009 and 51 percent in 2008) across years.
The results related to the statement “Buying ENERGY STAR-labeled products makes me feel like I’m spending extra money for nothing” provide additional information on perceptions of product value. Here, nearly half (48 percent) of all households who recognize the ENERGY STAR label strongly or somewhat disagree with the statement, while 39 percent of households are neutral. Only 13 percent agree with this statement. The proportions of households that agree and disagree with this statement in 2009 are similar to the 2008 results.