Thursday, May 22, 2008

Consumers Ready to Pay More for Reduced Emissions

People support offshore wind power in Delaware because they understand the need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the need for price stability in the face of relentlessly rising energy prices. It turns out that Delawareans are not so unusual in their views.
The consulting firm Deloite conducted national surveys of consumers and state energy commissioners that show people across the country share Delaware's views.
When asked whether they expect the cost of producing electricity to go up next year, 87 percent of commissioners said yes.
This result is hardly surprising. It's not as though you have to explain rising energy costs to folks. We're seeing it every day.
The surveys asked commissioners and consumers whether they would be willing to pay more to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.
36.3 percent of consumers would be willing to support an increase of five percent. An additional 25.4 percent would be willing to shoulder an increase of ten percent or more.
The commissioners surveyed offered similar answers when asked about the consumers they serve. They thought that 29 percent would support an increase of five percent, and that an additional 32 percent would support an increase of ten percent or more.
These results are consistent with a survey conducted last year by Jeremy Firestone and Willett Kempton of the University of Delaware:

When asked to select from a variety of sources to help the state increase its energy supply, more than 90 percent of the 949 Delaware residents responding to the survey supported an offshore wind option--in which whirling wind turbines as tall as 40-story buildings would be erected off the coast to generate electricity--even if wind power were to add between $1 and $30 per month to their electric bills.

These results suggest that commissioners are fairly accurate when it comes to keeping tabs of their consumers' views. Here in Delaware, the Public Service Commission received thousands of letters and e-mails supporting wind power.

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