How Americans Think About Power Usage and Outages

How Americans Think About Power Usage and Outages

Power outages are a problem for Americans, and Goal Zero conducted a survey to understand just how inconvenient, dangerous, and disruptive blackouts really are. Adults age 26 and up answered these survey questions between June 27 to July 12, 2022. The result is the inaugural Goal Zero Consumer Power Report

Americans don’t normally think about how much power they’re using. In fact, the average American (69%) only thinks about electricity consumption and power usage when paying the electric bill. Outside of that, they think about it when they’re plugging in high-demand appliances (43%), when the power goes out (42%), and during natural disasters or severe weather forecasts (30%). Understanding power consumption involves figuring out myths and facts, what needs to be powered in an outage, and what challenges are present. 

Woman thinking in front of an open refrigerator during a power outage

The State of the Power Consumer

Did you know that 24% of Americans think that if the power goes out you can still use WiFi? That is, unfortunately, a myth, and WiFi is only operational with a power supply. A third (33%) of Americans think that gas generators are the only way of getting backup power in an outage when, in reality, solar generators provide a clean, green alternative. And, over a third (39%) of Americans think that home solar panels without battery backup will still provide power in an outage. A battery backup, however, is the only way to store energy collected by solar panels. 

Myths aside, about a third (31%) of Americans are concerned about the possibility of power outages in their home, but don’t know what to do about it or how to prepare. Increasing power outages have an emotional and financial cost, and 84% of Americans are concerned about the possibility of a blackout. Some (26%) even feel vulnerable and unsafe. Rural Americans have had their power out the longest in the last 12 months, at 12 hours and 6 minutes on average, compared to urban (10 hours and 6 minutes) and suburban (8 hours and 18 minutes) areas. 

Fact checking power myths in the United States

The Impact of Power Outages

Weather is the biggest culprit when it comes to power outages. For some, the consequences are detrimental. 

“During a 66-hour power outage during sub-freezing weather, we barely slept, getting up frequently to keep water simmering on the stove to keep the house pipes from freezing,” one survey taker said. Another reported that they had to “go to the hospital due to the lack of an oxygen machine working and running out of oxygen tanks.” 

A majority of Americans want backup power with 61% saying they wish they had a reliable power source at their residence. Yet, only 15% have a home backup solution, and portable gas generators are the most owned backup power sources in America at 25%. 

Half (51%) of Americans would be interested in a backup power source if it meant they could reduce their reliance on fossil fuels and be more sustainable, and most (61%) would be willing to pay extra for a solution that doesn’t rely on fossil fuels. 

How different generations think about generators in America

America is Ready for Backup Power

That’s where we come in. Goal Zero offers home backup solutions that are designed to keep your home running in a power outage. Home backup systems built off of products like our Yeti 6000X Power Station and Yeti 3000X Power Station can keep your home running for days. And, when paired with a solar generator, you can have endless power with help from sunlight – a free, renewable, sustainable resource. 

Goal Zero has been the leader in the portable power station category for over a decade. We know what Americans need when it comes to home power, and we can help with sustainable solutions that keep your home running, no matter if the power goes out due to severe weather, natural disasters, or rolling blackouts.

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