Widespread Public Support for Renewable Energy Mandates Despite Proposed Rollbacks

June 2015

In light of recent attempts in many state legislatures to repeal or weaken renewable portfolio standards (RPSs) in the 29 states that have adopted them, the latest version of the National Surveys on Energy and Environment (NSEE) gauged public opinion on these state renewable energy requirements. The survey finds that a majority of Americans—of every race, income, level of education, religion, political party, and region of the country—support state renewables requirements. Most Americans would be willing to spend an extra $25 per year for more renewable energy—a number which exceeds the average $15 per year cost premium of current RPS programs. However, once the cost premium for an RPS rises to $50 per family per year, a majority of Americans say they would oppose an RPS. Further, though there is wide support for the idea of renewable energy requirements, few Americans know whether or not their state currently has an RPS in place.