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Who's Really 'In Charge' When Making Energy Decisions at Home?

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A recent survey of more than 2,100 married homeowners presented some startling facts, including a willingness to "get sexy" with energy conservation. In addition to exploring alternative fuels, like propane, couples cited options such as eating out on "dates" instead of cooking at home, lowering the thermostat, and even showering together as ways to reduce energy consumption and cost.

Many men and women disagree on who's in charge of the household finances, but when the numbers were tallied, both sexes agreed women were about 20 percent more likely to make decisions affecting household finances and paying bills on time.

Ferrellgas Partners, L.P. (NYSE:FGP), one of the nation's largest propane distributors, commissioned the study to evaluate usage trends, given the prevalence of discussions on energy consumption and alternative fuels, and may have debunked a few myths along the way.

"We've always focused our business model on understanding our customers, so we can provide reliable service and quality products which best meet their ever-changing needs," said Scott Brockelmeyer, Ferrellgas director of marketing. "You hear the age-old jokes about who controls the remote control or drives on family vacations, but at the end of the day, we want to understand who's making the key energy decisions within America's households."

The "Battle of the Sexes" survey showed Americans are nearly three times more likely to adjust their thermostat to stretch the household budget than limit the use of hot water, and that the longer a couple is married, the more pragmatic their method of conserving energy.

Respondents claimed reliability and reputation were very important when choosing a home heating provider, and customers who use propane to heat their home or cook were much more likely to consider propane an environmentally friendly fuel choice, when compared to the total sample.

"Environment and economics go hand-in-hand when people think about energy and conservation," Brockelmeyer said. "We know that reliable distribution, high safety standards and 24-hour support are what our customers expect. This survey also shows that an understanding of how clean and efficient propane can be is important to our current customers. It's essential in helping more people realize that smart choices in energy are not as limited as they may believe."

Other interesting, and amusing, findings from the survey include:

82 percent of those who currently use propane to heat their homes would be likely to select it again to heat their home, higher than the 76 percent satisfaction rate by electricity users.

Despite a seeming change in financial responsibilities, men are twice as likely as women to believe that the responsibility for the household chores is shared.

Women are twice as likely to win the battle for the covers at night -- and men agree that she wins.

Couples favored the use of energy-efficient bulbs and opening windows, versus using the air conditioner, as other popular energy-saving initiatives.

Propane is a member of a family of chemical compounds called hydrocarbons, and is found in both crude oil and natural gas. When crude oil is drawn from a well, it is refined into various petroleum products. Propane is a derivative of this process. When natural gas is drawn out of the earth, it is a mixture of several hydrocarbon gases. Approximately 5 percent of this mixture is propane.

Overland Park, KS (PRWEB)

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    7:56 AM, Anonymous tater03
    You described our household to a tee. Other than I never thought about taking showers together to conserve water. I will have to remember that one. 

    9:05 PM, Blogger The Imaginary Diva
    LOL! Must try that conservation technique all the time. 

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