In the last edition of R&H e-News we invited subscribers to respond to a survey assessing the enthusiasm of their customers for "green" products.

In the last edition of R&H e-News we invited subscribers to respond to a survey assessing the enthusiasm of their customers for "green" products. Here are the results tallied for the first two questions asked:

1. Generally speaking, how willing are your customers to "go green" by paying extra for energy-saving products with long payback periods and without government tax incentives or other subsidies?
    1. A majority are willing to do so. - 6.5%
    2. A sizable minority are willing to do so. - 19.4%
    3. A small minority are willing to do so. - 21.0%
    4. Almost nobody is willing to do so. - 53.2%

A pessimist might look at the #4 response as disheartening, because it indicates that more than half of your customers place no value on energy-saving products. However, I think that's predictable. To me, the more encouraging response is that more than a quarter of subscribers said a majority or sizable minority of their customers are willing to pay extra to "go green."

Next question had to do with how much extra they're willing to pay, and the responses were:

2. Incentives and subsidies aside, what is the maximum price premium most of your customers are willing to pay in order to purchase energy-saving products with a payback period of more than 10 years?
    1. More than 50% - 4.8%
    2. Between 25-50% - 12.9%
    3. Between 10-25% - 46.8%
    4. Less than 10% - 32.3%
    5. None. 0% - 3.2%

I find it surprising that 17.7% of respondents said their customers are wiling to spend upwards of 25% extra to go green. Maybe that measures wishful thinking, or maybe these responses come from subscribers who put out extra effort to sell the long-term benefits and cost savings of green products. It's encouraging that very few said most customers are willing to spend nothing extra at all.

In the next edition, slated for Sept. 22, we'll take a look at responses to more detailed questions asked in our Aug. 18 survey. - Jim Olsztynski