Americans Willing to Pay Slightly More For Clean Energy, Study Says

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A new study finds that the average American would be willing to pay slightly more for clean energy in support of government initiatives to promote low-carbon electricity generation.

In a national survey conducted last year, researchers from Yale and Harvard universities found that Americans, on average, would be willing to pay $162 more per year for their electricity bills — an average increase of about 13 percent — as part of a policy requiring 80 percent of energy come from green sources by 2035.

However, that willingness varies greatly depending on political affiliation, age, and geographic region, according to the study published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

For instance, support was significantly lower among Republicans, independents, and those with no party affiliation — by 25, 13, and 25 percentage points, respectively.

Also, according to the analysis, researchers found that the additional cost per household for clean energy would have to fall below $59 per year to pass the current U.S. Senate, and drop below $48 per year to get through the U.S. House of Representatives.

Article appearing courtesy Yale Environment 360.

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Yale Environment 360 is an online magazine offering opinion, analysis, reporting and debate on global environmental issues. We feature original articles by scientists, journalists, environmentalists, academics, policy makers, and business people, as well as multimedia content and a daily digest of major environmental news. Yale Environment 360 is published by the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies and Yale University. We are funded in part by the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and by the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation. The opinions and views expressed in Yale Environment 360 are those of the authors and not of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies or of Yale University.

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