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RNP Press Release
March 14, 1996

Public Opinion Polls Show Consistent Support for Renewable Energy and Conservation

A renewable energy advocacy organization today released a report detailing strong, diverse, and consistent regional and nationwide public support for environmental preservation, conservation and renewable energy resources.

This report compiles information from more than a dozen surveys and focus groups performed over the past two years on behalf of Northwest public and private utilities, public interest organizations, and renewable energy developers.
“This report demonstrates that there is strong support for clean energy across the board, from homeowners to businesses, across three Northwest states, and across many demographic groups,” said Rachel Shimshak, director of Renewable Northwest. “The Northwest Governors and their representatives, currently planning the reorganization of the region’s energy system, must keep these results in mind. They show exactly what the public values and wants,” she added.
Among the key results presented are:
• When asked to prioritize energy supply resources, utility customers all over the Northwest consistently chose conservation and renewable energy resources, such as solar, wind, and geothermal, as their leading choices.
• A strong majority agreed that utilities should only acquire resources having a positive or neutral effect on the environment.
• Over 70% of people surveyed nationally last December expressed serious concern about global climate change, and want policy makers to take action to prevent its harmful impacts.
• Large segments of those surveyed are willing to pay more money on their monthly electricity bills if they could receive electricity generated from renewable energy resources.
The report was presented to the Northwest Governors’ Comprehensive Regional Review today to reinforce the need to plan for future conservation and renewable energy acquisition, which may be at risk in a more competitive electric utility industry. Shimshak added, “Utilities making renewable investments should know that their customers value those investments. Renewable investments will enhance customer loyalty, not reduce it,” she concluded.
The Comprehensive Regional Review is a process to develop, through a public process, recommendations for changes in the institutional structure of the region’s electric utility industry. These changes should be designed to protect the region’s natural resources and distribute equitably the costs and benefits of a more competitive marketplace, while at the same time assuring the region of an adequate, efficient, economical and reliable power system.
Renewable Northwest is a not-for-profit advocacy organization, cosponsored by environmental and public interest organizations and private conservation and renewable energy developers. We share the common objective of creating a self-sustaining, competitive market for cost-effective, workable renewable energy technologies.
Copies of the report are available upon request.
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For more information contact:
Rachel Shimshak, Director
Renewable Northwest Project
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