Renewable Energy and Going Green

September 1, 2022

We are pleased to launch Leger’s new Tech and Innovation series, which explores Canadians’ perceptions of technologies and innovations that are shaping our future (including renewable energy, cryptocurrency and more).

Led by Leger’s Alberta office, with a special focus on Alberta, the series is designed to help governments and businesses understand public opinion, an important factor when designing new policies or preparing new product and service offerings. A new survey (accompanied by a free report) will be released each month. The topics of this series are:

  • Going green (September)
  • Talent (October)
  • Digital experiences (November)
  • Fintech (December)
  • Education (January)

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This year, Canadians have been facing rising inflation, with the cost of groceries, gas and energy straining household budgets. According to Statistics Canada, in Alberta, “consumers…paid 54.6% more for natural gas year over year in June [2022]…similarly, electricity prices in Alberta rose 35.6%” over the same period. We surveyed Albertans (and Canadians more broadly) to understand their perspectives on renewable energy, going green and how much they would pay for a “greener” power option.

SURVEY HIGHLIGHTS: RENEWABLE ENERGY AND GOING GREEN

CANADIANS BELIEVE INDIVIDUALS PLAY A ROLE IN INCREASING THE PRODUCTION AND USE OF RENEWABLE ENERGY

While Canadians believe it is important for the government (75%) and businesses (73%) to focus on increasing the production and use of renewable energy, they also believe it is important for individuals (63%) to do so.

35% OF CANADIANS ARE LIKELY TO PURCHASE AN ELECTRIC OR HYBRID VEHICLE IF GAS PRICES HOLD STEADY OR INCREASE

Quebecers and Ontarians are most likely to indicate they are likely to purchase an electric or hybrid vehicle if gas prices hold steady or increase over the next few years. Albertans and British Columbians are equally likely to indicate the same, which may contradict public perceptions of British Columbians being viewed as “greener” than Albertans.

CANADIANS WHO PAY FOR UTILITIES ARE SPLIT ON PAYING MORE FOR “GREEN” POWER

Half of Canadians who pay for utilities would pay an additional amount for a more “green” power/electricity option (which includes a guaranteed amount of electricity generated from renewable sources), while half would not.

ALBERTANS MAY BE GREENER THAN PUBLICLY PERCEIVED, BUT WANT TO GO GREEN ON THEIR OWN TERMS

62% of Canadian homeowners indicate they would spend $1,000 or more investing in new technologies or making upgrades to their home (e.g., sealing/insulating, using solar, geothermal, or other renewable energy, high-efficiency appliances, etc.) to have no month-to-month fuel costs. Albertan homeowners are one of the most likely to spend $1,000 or more on their home to achieve this but are the least likely to want to pay more for green power.


Survey Methodology

  • A total of 1,721 Canadians were surveyed from July 29 to August 4, 2022. The respondents were randomly selected from Leger’s LEO panel.
  • To ensure the sample is representative of the entire adult population of Canada, the raw data was weighted according to the actual distribution of the population based on gender, age and region using data from Statistics Canada’s latest available census.
  • As a comparison, a probability sample of this size would have a margin of error of ± 2.36% with a confidence interval of 95% (19 times out of 20).

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