WASHINGTON (AP) -- As summer beckons, it seems Americans are thinking more about the stifling cost of energy than about making tracks to the beach.
An AP-NORC Center poll has found that cutting energy bills and use is a bigger deal than taking a vacation or scoring the latest smartphone or tablet for most people.
Nearly 8 in 10 called energy deeply important to them, trumping concerns about the federal deficit and the environment. The only issues that polled as higher concerns were the economy, education and health care.
Not even 1 in 5 ranked a summer trip or the latest gadget as a high priority.
There are limits, though, on what people are willing to sacrifice for a more energy-efficient life.
Nearly 9 in 10 people said they had taken some action in the last year to save energy by doing small things like turning off the lights.
The idea of changing transportation habits rated as among the most difficult energy-saving actions for people to take.
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