The weak economy, rising fossil fuel costs and the housing downturn have failed to dampen consumer enthusiasm for energy efficient products, according to a new survey from Plastpro, Inc., the Livingston, N.J. based maker of fiberglass entry doors.

According to the survey, which is to be released this week at PCBC, 89% of qualified respondents said they would be willing to pay more for energy efficient products, which were defined as those which reduce heating and cooling costs. That percentage shot up to 96% among respondents in the Northeast, where prices spiked this past winter for oil, natural gas and LP, the primary sources of heating energy in the region.

An even larger percentage, 91%, said they would be inclined to "buy quality products that you know will last a long time" when purchasing windows and doors, with only 7% saying they would opt for less expensive products.

Respondents to the survey were less enthusiastic about paying more for so-called "green" products, defined as those that are made from recycled materials that are better for the environment. Still, a hefty 73% said they would be willing to pay more; but 25% said they would not.

The Northeast led in the "green" category as well, with 81% saying they would pay more for green products. There was less support in the North Central region, where 66% responded affirmatively, compared to 75% in the South and 73% in the West. On that question, 75% of metro area respondents responded affirmatively compared to 68% in non-metro areas. Hispanics had the lowest favorable response, at 60%

When asked about hiring a contractor for home improvement, 51% said it would be "very important" for that contractor to be knowledgeable about energy efficiency and environmentally beneficial products and materials, and another 35% said it would be "important." Only 9% said it would be "not very important," and 3% said it would be "not at all important."

The survey was conducted among a nationwide sample of 1,000 adults by Opinion Research Corporation and funded by Plastpro, which will be releasing the full survey at PCBC, which opens June 24 at the Moscone Center in San Francisco.