Columbus, OHIO – Today, the Ohio Conservative Energy Forum (OHCEF) released a statewide poll Ohio Conservative Energy Forum Survey Key showing conservative voters throughout the state overwhelmingly support public policies that encourage greater production of renewable energy and increasing energy efficiency, including renewable energy standards and revising wind setback rules.
The poll was conducted by the Republican polling firm, Public Opinion Strategies and only interviewed voters who identified as Republican or independents who also say they are conservative.
Nearly four-in-five conservative voters in Ohio (79 percent) say they would tell a Republican candidate to support policies that encourage energy efficiency and greater use of renewable energy in the state.
Accordingly, 82 percent of voters surveyed supported programs to encourage energy efficiency, 87 percent supported net metering, 60 percent supported requiring an increase in the use of renewable energy to 12.5 percent by 2027 and 76 percent supported increasing R&D in battery storage technologies.
“This poll is something Ohio’s elected officials need to know, especially as new legislation is being considered in the Republican-led Ohio General Assembly to reduce energy efficiency standards,” said Mike Hartley, consultant, OHCEF. “The poll clearly shows that conservatives support energy efficiency policies and see it as a way to create more jobs and move Ohio forward.”
Conservative voters also register strong and significant support for establishing setback limits for wind projects that will allow wind energy investment to occur in rural Ohio while protecting individual landowner’s rights to lease their land for wind projects with 76 percent support. Only 17 percent of conservative voters oppose it.
Support may in part be due to the electorate’s sense that increasing use of renewable energy will benefit jobs in Ohio. These conservative voters register positive feelings toward a range of energy sources, particularly natural gas and energy efficiency.
“With the continuing debate about Ohio’s wind set back, it’s clear Ohio conservatives are ready to allow farmers the opportunity to decide what’s best for their business and their property,” said Hartley. “Conservatives also realize that if Ohio wants to attract businesses such as Amazon and Facebook, renewable energy is key.”
In addition, 85 percent of conservative voters voiced willingness to personally pay more for their electricity if sourced from renewable energy sources.
Public Opinion Strategies conducted the survey from December 7-11, 2017 and completed 400 telephone interviews with registered voters who identify as Republican or independents who say they are conservative. The margin of sampling error for this statewide sample of conservative voters is +/-‐4.9%.