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Affordability, reliability still trump climate change for consumers – survey

American energy consumers expect a significant transformation in the way they use energy over the next 10 years, according to a new survey conducted by Ernst & Young – Fuels of the future: what is powering the US energy transition?

While concerns around the environment and climate change are key factors to this transition, the 1,500 energy consumers and more than 100 corporate executives surveyed said affordability and reliability are still the highest priority for energy decisions.

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“Across the US, energy consumers are caught between two desires: protecting the environment while keeping energy costs in check,” said Mitch Fane, US energy market leader, Ernst & Young. “These competing dynamics have also perplexed energy companies as they try to deliver the profitability that shareholders demand and meet evolving customer needs.”

Pressure around environmental issues isn’t just consumer-based – 91% of corporate respondents feel pressure from shareholders to reduce their company’s environmental impact. Further, 76% agreed their enterprise has been adversely affected by climate change. Consumers, too, are prioritizing climate change. When asked about the issues most important in the 2020 elections, climate change ranked second (15%) behind immigration (22%), but ahead of issues like taxes, gun control and lowering prescription drug prices. […]

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