Three out of Four Americans say Market Competition Delivers Energy Cost Savings, Innovation, Environmental Benefits
For Immediate Release: May 5, 2021
Contact: Christina Nyquist | firstname.lastname@example.org
Washington, D.C. – Americans view competitive electricity markets as more effective than utility monopolies at driving an array of positive outcomes for reliable electric service, consumers, and the environment, according to a new poll conducted by Morning Consult for the Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA), the national trade association representing competitive power suppliers.
See a summary of key findings here.
As the Biden Administration and Congressional leaders determine how to reduce emissions from the power generation sector and throughout the U.S. economy, a majority of U.S. adults say they support market-based policies such as carbon pricing or a clean energy standard.
Americans also make clear they view reliability and affordability as top priorities for U.S. energy, with 73% saying policymakers should choose the most affordable path to reduce power sector emissions while planning for reliability as the grid transitions.
And voters continue to oppose customer and taxpayer-funded bailouts for uneconomic power plants.
“These results show Americans understand the benefits of competitive power markets—and they want policymakers to enable competition to bring reliable, affordable, and cleaner electricity,” said EPSA President and CEO Todd Snitchler. “Keeping the lights on—ensuring reliable power—is job number one. Policymakers need to think about making the system even more reliable as the grid transitions, and market-based approaches can deliver those results,” Snitchler added.
“As we look to meet ambitious climate goals and answer critical market design questions, we must build on the progress competitive markets have already achieved in accelerating emissions reductions, spurring technological innovation, and securing enough power resources to reliably meet growing demand,” said Snitchler.
Key findings from the survey conducted April 22-25, 2021 include:
Competitive electricity markets are viewed as more effective than energy monopolies at driving an array of positive outcomes for consumers, the energy sector, and the environment.
- 76% of U.S. adults say choice and competition among energy providers are important energy policy priorities, along with reliability, affordability and environmental concerns.
- 76% say market competition is a driver to reduce energy costs, encourage technological innovation, and support a strong economy.
- 60% support closing struggling power plants rather than supporting them through higher utility bills and/or taxes on individuals.
Americans want affordable and reliable energy.
- 80% of U.S. adults say affordability (i.e., the cost of energy) is a top concern when considering America’s current energy landscape.
- 69% say reliability is a concern when it comes to energy in the U.S.
- 73% support choosing the most affordable path to reduce carbon emissions from the power sector, while also planning for reliability as the grid transitions.
U.S. adults see a role for natural gas to support reliable electric service in a cleaner energy future.
- 79% support maintaining some existing generating facilities, like natural gas plants, as backup options to renewable energy sources to ensure reliability.
- 67% support including natural gas in “clean energy” legislation—more than four times as many as the 14% who oppose.
To reduce emissions and achieve climate goals, majorities of Americans support carbon pricing and a Clean Energy Standard:
- 69% say they support a Clean Energy Standard to reduce emissions.
- 56% say they support a carbon pricing model to reduce emissions.
Carbon pricing or a Clean Energy Standard could reduce carbon emissions by 50% from 2005 levels by 2030, with annual consumer savings of $2.8 billion, in the region served by PJM Interconnection’s competitive markets. EPSA has shared policy recommendations for carbon pricing and a well-designed Clean Energy Standard, which highlight the need for all resources to compete to reduce emissions at the least cost to consumers while meeting reliability needs.
Methodology: This poll was conducted between April 22-April 25, 2021 among a sample of 2,200 adults. The interviews were conducted online, and the data were weighted to approximate a target sample of adults based on gender, educational attainment, age, race, and region. Results from the full survey have a margin of error of plus or minus 2 percentage points.
The Electric Power Supply Association (EPSA) is the national trade association representing America’s competitive power suppliers. EPSA members provide about 150,000 MW of reliable and competitively priced electricity from environmentally responsible facilities using a diverse mix of fuels and technologies including natural gas, wind, solar, hydropower, geothermal, storage, biomass, and coal. EPSA seeks to bring the benefits of competition to all power customers. Learn more at www.epsa.org and connect with us on LinkedIn and Twitter @EPSAnews.