INDIANA – The Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy (ICAE) today announced the results of a recent statewide poll that showed strong support for renewable energy development in the state, as well as broad consensus statewide and amongst Republicans for energy choice, net metering, and property rights.
“Indiana’s clean energy transition has already begun and there is a broad consensus both statewide and amongst conservatives for clean energy choices,” said Kacey Crane, ICAE Executive Director. “Market forces have driven down the cost of clean energy and by implementing smart, consumer-focused, free-market conservative principles, we can increase energy independence and allow every Hoosier family and business to reap the benefits.
The research was conducted in concert with Advanced Energy Economy and included a 600 sample statewide poll with a conservative over-sample, allowing analysts to produce two separate datasets: one statewide poll of Hoosiers and one poll of only conservatives.
According to the poll, a candidate who supports increasing the use of renewable energy is widely favored (72 percent more likely to support) by the electorate as a whole and is especially appealing to voters in key growth areas for conservatives: suburban women (79 percent more likely), college graduates (78 percent), younger women (84 percent), voters under 45 (81 percent) and independent women (87 percent).
Hoosiers are highly supportive of new energy development in the state – and oppose favoring one type of generation over another, preferring to let “markets and costs” decide.
- According to the polls, 59 percent of Hoosiers and an overwhelming 84 percent of conservatives believe that “markets and costs” should decide rather than the government incentivizing or supporting a particular form of energy.
- 75 percent of Hoosiers and 56 percent of conservatives support the development of more solar farms in Indiana.
- The majority of voters statewide (52 percent) and 66 percent of Republicans think electric vehicle charging networks should be “built and run by electric vehicle manufacturers and the private sector.” Just 8 percent of voters and Republicans want the state electric utilities to run them.
The polls were surprisingly consistent in two areas: net-metering and ending the government-created monopoly on energy generation and infrastructure.
- The same percentage (78 percent) of the statewide sample and the conservative sample agreed that Indiana should end its regulated monopoly system in favor of “a free market system where consumers have choices about where and how they get their energy.”
- After explaining the issue of net-metering, 84 percent of the statewide sample and 76 percent of the conservative sample support “continuing to give consumers the fair market value for the electricity they produce.”
The issue of property rights has been hotly debated in the Indiana legislature in recent years, particularly as it relates to renewable energy development. The polls showed strong support for individual property rights and the rights of homeowners over homeowners’ associations.
- · Many homeowners who wish to install rooftop solar panels on their own homes are being prevented from doing so by homeowners’ association restrictions. 73 percent of Hoosiers and 68 percent of conservatives are in favor of legislation that would prohibit these restrictions.
- When there is a conflict between the government and private landowners about the use of land, an overwhelming 88 percent of Hoosiers and 95 percent of conservatives agree that the landowner should decide how it is developed.
- Similarly, 89 percent of Hoosiers and 90 percent of conservatives agree that private landowners “should have the right to decide how their land can be used, including whether to lease or sell it to wind or solar energy developers.” Just 7 percent in both polls felt that county governments “should be able to prohibit private landowners from leasing or selling their land” to these developers.
The poll was commissioned by the Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy, joined by Advanced Energy Economy. It was conducted by Christine Matthews at Bellwether Research & Consulting and surveyed a representative sample of 600 Indiana voters statewide and an additional sample of 151 Republican voters to combine with Republican voters in the base sample to analyze separately (N=400 Republicans). The margin of error on the 600 sample is +/- 4 percent and on the separate sample of 400 Republicans it is +/- 5 percent.
“Our research continues to indicate that Hoosiers – including conservatives – want to see more clean energy choices,” said Christine Matthews. “Not only do they want to see more of it in the state as the lowest cost option, but they also want to support candidates for office that support it as well.”
“This poll shows that Hoosiers can see that growing the clean energy industry in Indiana is delivering jobs and cost savings,” said Caryl Auslander, Indiana State Director for Advanced Energy Economy. “Increasing competition drives down costs, which is why Hoosiers and clean energy companies are aligned in how to power the state’s energy transition.”
For additional information about the Indiana Conservative Alliance for Energy, please visit www.IndianaConservativeAllianceforEnergy.com.