Survey compiles opinions on energy sources

April 29, 2015 By    

The majority of Americans who responded to a Harris Poll survey on energy efficiency reported they view solar and wind power as the best energy sources for the environment. About 69 percent believe solar power is best for the environment and 60 percent believe wind is best for the environment. About 10 percent of respondents reported they believe hydro, electric or oil and natural gas are best energy sources for the environment. Only 1 percent of respondents view propane as one of the best sources of energy for the environment.

When asked whether the risks outweigh the benefits or vice versa for several mainstream and emerging sources of electrical power in the United States, Americans most commonly believe that solar and wind outweigh their risks. Despite no small amount of controversy over the past few years, a strong majority of Americans also believe natural gas benefits outweigh the risks. Half of Americans believe geothermal power’s benefits outweigh the risks, while 8 percent say the risks outweigh the benefits. Additionally, 42 percent were not sure of their opinions on the energy source, though they reported few negative sentiments.

When asked to select the worst sources of energy for the environment, 53 percent of respondents selected coal and 39 percent selected nuclear power. Just less than a quarter of Americans identified oil and natural gas as worst for the environment, while 16 percent pointed to home heating oil and roughly one in 10 chose ethanol/biofuel and propane.

The Harris Poll, which surveyed 2,200 adults online in February, also found that fewer consumers are taking steps to reduce energy consumption in their homes in the last few years.


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