A new poll from Yale University, George Mason University and Climate Nexus found that at least 7 in 10 New Jerseyans support the proposals included in the New Jersey Clean Energy Equity Act currently on the agenda for the Senate Environment Committee meeting on July 16. The bill aims to help low-income New Jersey families benefit from solar, storage and energy efficiency.
“New Jersey’s low-income families and residents of all incomes overwhelmingly support increasing access to affordable clean energy through the Clean Energy Equity Act,” said Pari Kasotia, Mid-Atlantic Director at Vote Solar. “Voters have made it clear that expanding access to clean energy should be central to COVID-19 recovery plans. State legislators have the public support and the plan to bring more clean energy to New Jersey. Now is the time to act.”
At least 7 in 10 New Jerseyans support each of the six key components of the Clean Energy Equity Act, including:
- 76% support reducing electricity bills of at least 250,000 low-income residents by 2030
- 71% support establishing an Office of Clean Energy Equity
- 70% support increasing the amount of storage of renewable energy in low-income communities
- 76% support developing paid workforce training programs in the clean energy sector
- 71% support allocating 10% of the Board of Public Utilities’ budget to increase access to clean energy
- 71% support requiring all new construction in low-income communities is able to install solar energy
The poll also found that more than three-quarters of respondents with a household income of less than $50,000 per year were interested in solar energy programs to help lower or stabilize their electric bill at no additional cost.
“This poll confirms what we’ve been saying all along — clean energy is an issue that positively impacts our environment and our economy,” said bill sponsor Senator Troy Singleton. “New Jerseyans understand that all of our residents — regardless of income — should have access to clean energy and its many benefits, which include job training and utility savings. That is why we need to pass the Clean Energy Equity Act, and I will keep working until it is law.”
“It’s high time to end the myth that clean, renewable energy expansion will lead to higher costs for consumers,” said Assemblyman Dan Benson. “We now know that not only would access to affordable clean energy benefit public health and fight climate change, it would also deliver vital energy cost savings to low-income families which is needed more than ever before in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. These polls show that the vast majority of New Jerseyans share this view and want to see our state lead the way in expanding renewable energy. I look forward to working with my colleagues to pass The Clean Energy Equity Act which would do just that.”
Climate Nexus Polling, in partnership with the Yale Program on Climate Change Communication and the George Mason University Center for Climate Change Communication, conducted a representative survey of 810 adults in New Jersey June 17-21, 2020. The poll was sponsored by the national solar advocacy non-profit Vote Solar. You can access the toplines here.