Millionaires say they’re taking more steps to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and cars. Learn more about the trend.
Environmentalism is growing among America’s Millionaires, according to new research from Spectrem’s Millionaire Corner that finds the wealthy are taking more steps to increase the energy efficiency of their homes and cars.
Roughly one-fourth of high net worth Millionaires say they have purchased or plan to purchase a more energy-efficient car (27 percent), according to our fourth-quarter study on the attitudes and behaviors of wealth investors. A similar share says they constantly monitor their energy consumption to be more energy efficient (23 percent).
Worries over global climate change may be motivating these actions. Thirty percent of the high net worth – those with investable assets of $5 million up to $25 million – indicates they worry about global warming. Millionaires – who rank frugality as a key component to building wealth – are also likely to be going green to save money on heating and cooling bills.
Learn more about the role of frugality in building wealth.
Millionaires aren’t necessarily saving money on more fuel-efficient cars– it can take years for gas-pump savings to cancel out higher purchase prices – but the Department of Energy tells us there’s more than one reason to buy a greener vehicle.
First, the financial incentives: The DOE estimates that a driver can save $938 a year- or $4,688 over five years - by switching from a car that gets 20 miles per gallon to one that gets 30 mpg. The federal government provides tax credits of up to $7,500 for energy efficient cars, though the amount of the credit varies by fuel type. Lower credits are given for diesel and alternative fuel vehicles, and higher credits to electric and plug-in hybrid electric cars.
Fuel –efficient cars also promote sustainable energy use - consumption that meets current needs without compromising future generations. Sustainability relies on renewable resources, cleaner and more efficient technology and greater conservation. Fuel efficiency can also help reduce climate change and increase America’s energy security, according to the DOE. Fuel efficient cars can also provide intangible benefits, such as a “feel good” factor or improved social image.
Millionaire Corner research finds that women are more sensitive to environmental issues than men.
Millionaires may be cutting back on energy consumption, but they’re not doing much more to reduce the garbage they send to landfills. Only 6 percent of Millionaires say they’re recycling more than in the past.