During September 2009, CEE fielded a questionnaire to obtain information at the national level on consumer awareness of the ENERGY STAR label (please refer to Appendix A for a more detailed outline of the survey methodology). A random sample of households that are members of an Internet/WebTV panel was surveyed. Both the Internet/WebTV panel as a whole and the sample of households completing the survey were selected by random digit dial and recruited by telephone. The panel is designed to be representative of the U.S. population.
This year’s questionnaire was similar to the ones CEE fielded in 2000-2008. As in previous years, CEE and its sponsoring members made the survey data publicly available.
The survey was a national survey. The sampling frame for this national survey included all households in the largest Nielsen Designated Market Areas® (DMAs) that together accounted for about 70 percent of U.S. television households. In 2009, this encompassed the 57 largest DMAs. In addition, CEE members may choose to sponsor more intensive sampling (i.e., an oversample) in selected localities, referred to here as sponsor areas. In 2009, the State of Wisconsin was the sole sponsor area.
Sponsor areas are not limited to the 57 largest DMAs. Thus, the complete frame for the study was the combination of the largest DMAs and any portion of the sponsor areas that fell outside the 57 largest DMAs. However, to facilitate comparisons across years, the national results were based only on data collected from respondents from the 57 largest DMAs. Data collected from respondents not in the 57 largest DMAs, but in a sponsor area, are not included in this analysis. Some of the 57 largest DMAs are also included in the sponsor areas and therefore were oversampled. The data from these respondents (as well as from the other respondents in the 57 largest DMAs) received an appropriate weight in the analysis in order to generate valid national results and facilitate comparison with data from other years.
As in previous years’ studies, the DMAs in the sampling frame were classified by publicity category, so the effect of local energy efficiency program publicity on national awareness could be considered. The same publicity classification procedure used in the past 8 years was used this year.1 A DMA was classified as high publicity, low publicity, or other using the following criteria:
High publicity: Active local ENERGY STAR promotion recently sponsored by a utility, state agency, or other organization for two or more continuous years. The activities must include sustained promotions and publicity from non-federal sources.
1 Between September 2008 and 2009, 2 of the 57 largest DMAs changed publicity category: Tampa-St. Pete (Sarasota) and Charlotte. Both changed from “Low” to “Other”.