Ontarians Show Strong Support For Green Energy

rooftop solar panels
The London Public Library in Ontario takes advantage of the sun’s energy.
(cc) London Public Library

A recent poll, conducted by Oraclepoll Research Limited and commissioned by the Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA), indicates over 7 of 10 Ontarians support green energy initiatives.

Regionally, Northern Ontario (82%) and the GTA (79%) are most supportive of Green Energy. Even in Southwest Ontario, where 23% of those polled indicated that they disagreed with current green energy initiatives, almost three quarters of respondents indicated that they agreed with the same initiatives.

Data showed that support was highest among younger respondents. 84% of those polled between ages 18-34 were in favour of the Province’s green energy undertakings.

Leading up to October 6’s provincial election, energy policy has become a contentious issue. With Ontario on track to eliminate coal-powered generation by 2014, there is much debate as to the source of energy best suited to replace it.

Kristopher Stevens, Executive Director at OSEA, commented, “Ontarians are smart. I interpret the polling results to mean that the majority of people in our province understand clean energy produces good jobs and is beneficial to our environment – and that it is worth supporting.”

The Ontario PC leader has campaigned against the Green Energy Act and its Feed-in Tariff rates. Interestingly, the survey indicated 57% of decided PC supporters were in favour of green energy initiatives. One quarter of these PC supporters “strongly agreed.”

82% of both Liberal and NDP identified voters support green energy. Close to half of Liberal supporters (49%) “strongly agreed” with current energy initiatives in Ontario. Similarly, 52% of NDP voters “strongly agreed” with green energy.

The polling, which was conducted between July 7th and July 13th, 2011, shows the PCs with the highest number of decided votes at 42.8%, followed by the Liberals at 31.5%, the NDP at 17.7% and the Green Party with 8%. A significant 17.7% of voters remain undecided.

There was an almost even split in response to the question “Overall, do you feel that things in Ontario are headed in the right direction or do you feel that they are off on the wrong track?”

Pollster Dr. Paul Seccaspina noted that, “Despite non-scientific and anecdotal opinions with respect to the public’s views on green energy, our polling indicates strong support across all regions, party affiliations and demographic groups in Ontario.”

Support Green Energy Initiatives in Ontario Such as Wind and Solar Power

Area Strongly disagree Disagree Neither disagree nor agree Agree Strongly agree Dont know
Central 13.30% 13.30% 6.70% 26.70% 33.30% 6.70%
Eastern 7.70% 3.80% 23.10% 26.90% 30.80% 7.70%
Metro 6.10% 3.00% 9.10% 27.30% 51.50% 3.10%
905 belt 9.70% 9.70% 9.70% 38.70% 32.30% 0.0%%
Niagara/Hamilton 0.00% 18.40% 5.30% 42.10% 28.90% 5.30%
Southwest 17.90% 5.10% 0.00% 25.60% 46.20% 5.10%
North 0.00% 9.10% 9.10% 27.30% 54.50% 0.0%%

These results are based on an 800 person omnibus survey of voting age residents (18 years of age or older) from the province of Ontario. The survey was conducted using computer-assisted techniques of telephone interviewing (CATI) and random number selection between July 7th and July 13th 2011. The margin of error for this survey is +/- 3.5%, 19/20 times.

The Ontario Sustainable Energy Association (OSEA) works to initiate, facilitate and support the work of local sustainable energy organizations through membership services and province wide capacity-building and non-partisan policy work. It promotes the benefits of Community Power and renewable energy through advocacy, public outreach and capacity building.

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