According to the Northern Star newspaper, the battle is on in Illinois for higher utility rates designed to underwrite, among other things, the installation of smart grid technology. But while state residents may have mixed feelings about the proposed rate hike, a new poll indicates that a solid majority support higher energy efficiency standards for appliances and electronics that would effectively reduce household electricity use.
The poll, conducted on behalf of the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC), found that 84 percent of Illinois voters say they have already installed energy efficient products in their own homes or businesses, and 65 percent of voters agree that switching to more efficient lighting is an effective way to reduce energy waste. The poll also revealed – commensurate with other polls we’ve seen in recent months – strong bipartisan consensus on the issue with a clear majority of Democrats, independents and Republicans supporting energy efficiency standards.
A majority of voters (68 percent) voiced strong support for the federal government setting minimum energy efficiency standards for various household products, including appliances and light bulbs, and a lesser majority (58 percent) for regulation by the state government in requiring electric utilities ComEd and Ameren to help their customers become more energy efficient.
The poll also indicated that 78 percent of Illinois voters overall support expanded use of energy efficiency technologies to help meet energy needs and reduce energy costs – though whether that includes the footing the bill for smart grid tech remains to be seen.
The NRDC survey had a sample size of 822 voters with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.3 percent. It was conducted via telephone from August 25 to 28 by Public Policy Polling.