The Millennial Generation, or those of us who were born between 1982 and 2003, are quickly gaining recognition and turning heads all over America. Millennials will make up as much as 75 percent of the workforce by 2025…whoa!
Millennials are the generation of the future, and they are slowly starting to reshape the nation with values that are most important to them. These values, as outlined in a Brookings case study titled, How Millennials Could Upend Wall Street and Corporate America, are reforming the definition of “success” and bringing the world together as a more collective whole. What do these shifting values have to do with energy efficiency, you ask? Read on to find out.
The essence of the Brookings study was based on what values they found to be most important to Millennials. I hate to break it to you, but money and power were not high on that list. Instead, the researchers noticed some values and priorities that are a little different from our predecessors, Generation X and the Baby Boomers. Here is roughly what they found:
Preservation of the environment and experiences are more important than material, unnecessary “things”
If Millennials were faced with the choice (and affordability) of purchasing a hybrid or electric vehicle over one that requires gas, which one do you think they would choose? What if they could choose whether they got their electricity from renewable or non-renewable sources? My point is, Millennials generally feel the need to be more “green.” In the future, this could greatly influence how we produce energy, especially if non-renewable sources get too sparse.
Over the past few years, going green has become more popular and it doesn’t look like that is changing anytime soon. In order to have experiences and create memories, Millennials know that they need to first protect our precious Mother Earth. It’s not just strictly about saving the environment, rather, more about having this idea incorporated into all “policymaking”—from healthcare right down to shopping habits.
Technology is essential
Millennials have grown up on the cusp of the technology era. We remember what it was like without a computer or cell phone, but we are still pretty technological savvy. Millennials realize the future of technology, and according to this article, they are looking for it in their homes. “Smart homes” are quickly on the rise here in America.
Millennials are constantly looking at ways to make their lives more efficient while still making sound decisions. Often times, this means staying up-to-date with the newest technology (like this cool SmartThings device) so they can monitor energy consumption and save on costs such as the electricity bill.
They value conservation and helping others as much as possible
So if the key to energy savings is to consume less, Millennials know how to do it best. With their drive to make their homes more efficient, paired with the want to protect the environment, they know that the big contributor to saving money on energy is to conserve it. For more information on why it’s important to conserve energy for our future, visit the Conserve Energy Future site.
Trust and Corporate Social Responsibility are far more important than the bottom line
Millennials tend to distrust big companies. Which is why they will most likely switch to an outside, local electricity supplier rather than sticking with the big company. As outlined in the study, Millennials would much prefer to pay a little more if the company was aligning with their values of corporate social responsibility.
Because of the high priority of these values, Millennials have the power (no pun intended) to raise awareness about not only important worldwide issues, but about energy efficiency and consumption as well. If we do not start making changes about how we produce energy, our country could be in danger of running out of non-renewable resources. The balance between conserving and just being aware about energy is important. Not just for Millennials, but for everyone who cares about energy efficiency. Together, we can make a difference in the world we live in.