Savings Without Loss: People Are Both Energy Savers and Aesthetes

Saving energy is a major issue for people in Germany. 77 percent intend to invest at least as much in energy saving measures in 2008 as they did the previous year, if not more. This was the result of a representative survey, carried out on behalf of Messe Frankfurt by TNS-Emnid, Bielefeld.

"Almost everyone is concerned about environmental technology and takes energy consumption into account when making purchases. But the survey also shows that energy savings alone do not make for contentment. People in Germany also want to feel good when they are at home. Lighting plays a decisive role in the design of the home environment. Hence, Germans are highly motivated energy savers but, at the same time, aesthetes with clearly formulated design ideas", says Dr. Michael Peters, Member of the Board of Manage-ment of Messe Frankfurt, on the occasion of Light+Building. At the world's leading trade fair for lighting, electrical engineering and house and building automation, over 2, 100 manufacturers will be showcas-ing their new products, new technologies and the latest design trends from 6 to 11 April.

East, West, old, young; according to the survey, there is hardly any difference. But significantly more men (23 percent) than women (11 percent) would clearly like to spend more money this year on envi-ronmentally-friendly technology. Energy-saving lightbulbs are espe-cially popular amongst the population. According to TNS-Emnid, 82 percent of those surveyed already use them, and twelve percent of these would like to buy more.

Great interest in environmentally-friendly technology in the home
Those who took part in the survey also showed a keen interest in other substantially more cost-intensive purchases. In fact, only four percent currently use photovoltaic installations. But more than a fifth (22 percent) are interested in a solar power unit. The figures are simi-lar for heat pumps, which provide houses with heating energy from the air and the ground. Eleven percent of people in Germany already use this alternative technology. According to TNS-Emnid, one in five would like to have a CO2 free combination of a photovoltaic system and a heat pump.

But it is not only for energy production that environmentally-friendly measures are popular. Germans are also ready to dig deep into their pockets for 'intelligent' technology in the home. One in six (16 per-cent) would like their lights to turn on and off automatically according to whether they are in the room or not. Heating thermostats, which notice open windows, appeal to 18 percent. One in seven thinks it worthwhile to ventilate rooms in the house on a timer control.

In spite of the trend towards saving energy, lighting remains a key issue, when Germans are furnishing their homes. "With lights and lu-minaires, people in Germany expect solutions which meet in equal measure their stringent requirements for functionality and reliability, and at the same time their desire for aesthetic appeal and individual design. The survey makes it clear that technology and design are not mutually exclusive. On the contrary; for many buyers, products are acceptable only if they satisfactorily address both aspects, " empha-sises Dr. Peters.

For the great majority (84 percent), lighting is important for the feel-good factor. 85 percent of Germans use lighting as part of the décor in their home environment. So lighting is almost as important as seat-ing (96 percent) or cupboards and shelving (91 percent).

In the home, most people feel especially good if standard lamps, wall lights, ceiling lights or reading lamps provide the light (74 percent). Just under half of those surveyed (45 percent) said they needed be-tween ten and twenty lights to create an individual atmosphere. In some three percent of households there are more than 30 lights.

When consumers are making decisions about a new lamp, design (85 percent) and energy consumption (84 percent) carry just about the same weight. But both these criteria for purchasing a light come just behind quality and reliability (94 percent) and price (92 percent).

TNS-Emnid carried out their survey in Germany on 7 and 8 March, 2008, interviewing more than a thousand people aged 14 and up-wards. It was commissioned by Messe Frankfurt, in connection with the Light+Building international trade fair from 6 to 11 April in Frankfurt am Main.

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