Earlier this week, the Shelton Group released its seventh annual Energy Pulse report, which has 450 pages of analysis, charts, graphs, and crosstabs based on the survey of 1,502 Americans.  I haven’t seen the $5,000 report but would like to share some takeaways from a release and executive summary.  Particularly, of the respondents, 42% had installed high-efficiency windows, 39% had installed extra insulation, 37% had installed higher efficiency HVAC systems, and 24% had installed a higher efficiency water heater.

This is a good number of people are making investments in efficiency upgrades.  YET — and this is consistent with prior Harris Poll research — only 15% had actually gotten a home energy audit.

Suzanne Shelton, president of Shelton Group, said, “Home energy audits continue to be the colonoscopy of energy efficiency … Everyone should get one, but too few actually go through with it.“  Indeed, it’s surprising that so many people would upgrade their windows or insulation yet they wouldn’t have a home energy audit.

Stated differently, why would so many people spend money on a high-ticket item like window replacement, when an affordable home energy audit report — which is created with professional tests from a blower door and thermographic camera — could help a homeowner reap substantial energy savings from lower hanging fruit?  An audit is one of the first things to do and window replacement is one of the last things to do on the Pyramid of Conservation.

The Shelton Group found that the primary driver for energy-efficiency home improvements is “to reduce my energy bill” according to 28% of respondents.  So people are driven to spend now to save later.

[+] More about the Energy Pulse 2011 report by Shelton Group.

Credits: Shelton Group.