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Study: Consumers Shun Green CE Efforts

3/30/2009 03:15:00 PM Eastern

Sunnyvale, Calif. – A consumer study conducted by the consumer electronics education Web site Retrevo indicates mistrust, lack of education and high prices are hindering the CE industry’s green efforts.

In the study, 75 percent of consumers polled said buying energy-efficient products was important to them, but less than half admitted to actually having bought a “green” electronics product.

In addition, some 35 percent of respondents said they would be unwilling to pay a premium for green products, even if those products are shown to require less electricity to operate.

“These results suggest that manufacturers and retailers need to better communicate the importance of buying green or else they will have to be more aggressive with pricing,” the company said in a statement on the study.

The study also revealed skepticism among consumers about the validity of green labels. Only 13 percent said they trusted green claims, while 40 percent felt that manufacturers and retailers use the term incongruously to capitalize on the trend without actually creating or selling energy efficient products.

Retrevo said it believes manufacturers will need to be more consistent in their claims and work hard to overcome consumers’ skepticism about energy ratings.

“Even though a majority of consumers understand the importance of conserving energy and not polluting landfills, manufacturers and retailers aren’t succeeding in demonstrating the real-life value of green products,” Vipin Jain, CEO of Retrevo, said in a statement.

The survey did find significant percentages of consumers dispose of CE products in environmentally responsible ways. Approximately 33 percent said they give them to charity; 20 percent said they take them to recycling centers; and 17 percent said they sell them.

Only 12 percent of respondents admitted to throwing old electronics in the trash. Further information on the study is available here.