New Data Reveals 84% of Americans are Concerned About Growing Power Outages
A new survey from Goal Zero found that only 15% of Americans have a home backup solution, with 61% saying that they wish they had a reliable source of backup power
SALT LAKE CITY — September 27, 2022 - Goal Zero, a portable energy leader, today announced its inaugural annual report on consumer behavior and attitudes toward power usage and outages. The report surveyed adults across the U.S. to learn how Americans are increasingly concerned about power outages, their feelings on clean alternative power solutions, and their knowledge of backup power options.
“No matter where you live in America, you’ve undoubtedly felt the effects of power loss from natural disasters, blackouts, aging power grids, or any number of other reasons,” said Trevor Lambert, Head of Marketing at Goal Zero. “With more and more people working from home, or attending school online, we are more reliant than ever on electricity to run our daily lives. Backup power has turned into a necessity for nearly everyone, and green, reliable systems can keep families safe, connected and minimize the effects of power outages.”
The State of the Power Consumer
The survey found that consumers often aren’t familiar with their power consumption. In fact, 43% of Americans don’t know how much power they use and 22% don’t know which devices and appliances in their home use the most power.
Additionally, the survey confronted several myths about how Americans think about power. These include:
- 24% of Americans think if the power goes out you can still use Wi-Fi when in reality routers require power to provide an internet connection.
- 33% of Americans think that gas generators are the only way of getting backup power if there’s an outage. However, several are readily available, including standby natural gas generators, installed solar with battery storage, as well as solar generators and portable power stations.
- 39% of Americans think that home solar panels without battery backup/storage will still provide power in an outage. In actuality, solar by itself will not power a home. The solar array needs to be connected to a battery storage system that is tied into the home’s circuit panel to deliver power.
The Impact of Power Outages
Nearly everyone has experienced a power outage at some point, and the survey found that the majority (84%) of Americans are worried about power outages and 26% feel vulnerable about power outages and unsafe.
Goal Zero found that the top concerns for Americans when the power goes out are being unable to cook food or food spoiling (70%) and that they might get too hot or too cold (65%), while nearly a third (31%) stated no longer having hot water as a top concern.
Increasing power outages across the country come at both an emotional and financial cost to consumers. Americans face power outages on average twice a year, with 26% saying they’ve experienced three or more in the last twelve months. 32% of Americans living in the South say they’ve experienced three or more power outages in the last twelve months, compared to just 22% in each of the other census regions.
Two-thirds (65%) of Americans say that when the power goes out at their residence, it’s disruptive to their daily life. With food costs alone, Americans have lost $109.91 on average in the last twelve months due to power outages, and one in four (27%) Americans say that in the last twelve months, a power outage has disrupted their ability to work normally for their job — being unable to work for 9 hours and 36 minutes, on average.
America is Ready for Backup Power
With outages causing such a severe impact on consumers' lives, it’s no surprise that the majority of Americans want backup power, with 61% saying that they wish they had a reliable source of backup power at their residence.
There are many key motivators for having residential backup power, and some of the top reasons include:
- 32% so they don’t have to deal with the inconvenience of a power outage
- 23% vulnerable health of someone in the household
- 21% increase in natural disasters in the area
Even with that desire for a reliable backup power system, only 15% of Americans currently have a home backup solution. For most, clean backup power is a priority, with 51% of Americans interested in a backup power source if it meant they could reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and be more sustainable.
Sustainability is increasingly important to consumers across the country. The survey found that of those interested in backup power sources, 61% would be willing to pay extra for a sustainable backup power solution that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels, and 78% consider solar generators “green”, and 38% consider portable gas generators “dirty”.
Goal Zero conducted this research using an online survey prepared by Method Research and distributed by Dynata among n=2,000 adults (age 26+) in the United States, with n=1,500 nationally representative according to census targets on geography and household income, with an additional n=500 augment sample among California residents. Data was collected from June 27 to July 12, 2022.
About Goal Zero
A global leader in clean, consumer power solutions, Utah-based Goal Zero, an NRG company, created the portable power station category in 2009, following a humanitarian mission to bring sustainable energy to those in need. Since then, it has evolved its clean power solutions to meet expanding customer needs from emergency outages at home to professional and outdoor recreation needs at the campsite, tailgate, worksite, or off-grid events. Our solar panels, power stations and accessories allow you to power anything, anywhere. For more information, visit www.GoalZero.com.