Consumers reveal their concerns about gas prices in energy survey

Published on Saturday, 3 May 2014 23:26 - Written by Alex Mills Texas Alliance of Energy Producers

Clearly, Americans are concerned about the increase in the price of gasoline and other sources of energy, according to a recent nationwide poll of 2,133 individuals.

The University of Texas at Austin has conducted its energy poll six times since September 2011 and in every survey more than 90 percent of the participants said that gasoline prices were high. In the most recent survey released on Wednesday, 93 percent said gasoline prices were either somewhat high (33 percent) or very high (60 percent). 

Actually, 93 percent is the lowest of all the polls taken. The highest rating came in March 2012 when 98 percent agreed that gasoline prices were high.

Americans also believe that heating oil, electricity and natural gas prices are high with heating oil pulling 84 percent, electricity 79 percent and natural gas 74 percent.

Americans said that prices will continue to rise for gasoline during the next six months (78 percent), and that a greater portion of their household budget will be spent on energy (67 percent).

The increasing cost of gasoline has an eight-out-of-10 concerned (84 percent), while only 56 percent said they were concerned about the impact of domestic oil drilling and production on the natural environment.

Domestic natural gas production received high marks for job creation (72 percent), lowers costs (66 percent), provides energy security (64 percent), increases energy efficiency (63 percent), boosts U.S. manufacturing (63 percent) and lowers carbon emissions (55 percent). 

The price of renewable energy also is a major factor in energy choices among American consumers. However, apparently most of those polled believe that renewable energy is a “cost reducer” instead of being more expensive than crude oil, natural gas, coal and nuclear. The survey asked which benefits do you most associate with renewable energy sources and 57 percent said lower-cost electricity.

  There is no doubt that renewable energy is the darling energy source from coast-to-coast, garnering high levels of support for expanding financial incentives for companies engaged in renewable technologies (64 percent) and support for mandates on utilities to take  electricity made from renewable sources (62 percent).

 For the first time in all six surveys, respondents were more optimistic than pessimistic about their energy future. Thirty-six percent said the energy situation will be better in 25 years and 29 percent said worse. The first survey in September 2011 had 29 percent saying better and 41 percent saying worse and every survey up until the most recent has the majority feeling worse about the future energy situation.

  In case you were wondering about those surveyed, 60 percent were employed and the other 40 percent were either retired, unemployed or students. Seven - of - 10 were white, one - of - 10 were black and the remainder were Hispanic (14 percent) and other (6 percent). Of the 2,113 respondents, 37 percent were from the South, 22 percent from the West, 22 percent from the Midwest and 19 percent from the Northeast. Republicans made up 36 percent, Democrats 31 percent and independents 32 percent.