The first in-depth women’s survey on attitudes and awareness about energy has been released, and the results show that access to pertinent information is lacking.

Commissioned by Women Impacting Public Policy (WIPP) in collaboration with the Women’s Council on Energy and the Environment (WCEE), the survey polled 801 women 18 years or older on a variety of energy-related topics. What was clear is that women want the country to move toward clean energy sources, and more than half (57%) are even willing to pay $30 more per month for it.  Yet they don’t completely understand the electricity sources we use today, the impact of electricity on clean air and what is causing global warming. Here are some more findings from the study: 
On global warming:
  • Only 7% of women are aware that electricity-generating power plants are the biggest cause of global warming in the country
  • 31% say they just don’t know the largest cause of global warming
  • When prompted, 67% of women correctly identify coal power plants as a big cause or somewhat of a cause of global warming, but 54% think the same about nuclear energy; in reality, nuclear energy does not cause global warming at all. 
On electricity: 
  • 43% don’t know the largest source of electricity in the U.S.
  • Only 12% think it’s coal (actually provides 49% of U.S electricity)
  • 4% think it’s nuclear (actually provides 20% of U.S electricity)
  • 32% don’t know the main source of electricity for their own home 

Now, while this survey targeted only women, I'm willing to bet that men across the country would fare just as poorly. The fact of the matter is that, much like other aspects of our modern world, people don't generally seek out information on energy. We've grown up in a modern society taking for granted the ability to just plug in and enjoy. To understand how that all works, where it comes from, and how it impacts our world lies outside the realm of day-to-day priorities.

What can be done? More campaigns, commercials, and articles like this one to help get the information out there. Casually dropping energy policy conversation at a dinner party may not sound sexy, but it's yet another effective means of getting people involved in what's a very important piece of this country's future.

What do you think of these results? Do think they accurately reflect what you know -- or your friends know -- about energy?