Most consumers also concerned EPA policies will lead to black-outs and brown-outs
Washington, D.C. — Most Americans (76%) are at least somewhat worried that new regulations proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to remove coal-powered electricity from the nation’s energy mix will lead to higher prices for consumers, according to an online survey of 2,058 adults conducted in April, 2014 by Harris Poll on behalf of the National Mining Association (NMA). The national poll also reveals that concern is greatest (88%) among retirees and these are people living on fixed incomes who are particularly sensitive to cost increases.
The survey highlights the very real impact the winter price surge had on household finances and quality of life. Of the 76% of Americans responsible for paying their utility bills and who had higher bills this winter over half (56%) said their day-to-day lives were impacted with these higher bills this winter. For example, those impacted said they were forced to set thermostats lower than was comfortable (32%) and forced to cut back on leisure activities (28%). Nearly one fifth (19%) also reported that higher electricity costs limited their ability to buy necessities, such as groceries, food and healthcare – suggesting lower-income households may have been forced to decide between heating their home and eating a meal.
“Americans are rightfully concerned about higher electricity prices. If EPA continues to push forward with unrealistic standards for coal-based power plants, consumers’ fears will become locked-in for the foreseeable future,” Hal Quinn, NMA president and CEO, said. “The leap in electricity bills consumers saw this winter is as much the result of EPA’s policies as it is the cold weather.”
- On May 7, 2014