New surveys of regulators and consumers conducted by Deloitte LLP find many people are willing to pay higher prices for electricity, if the costs help reduce global warming.
Most of the 50 state public utility regulators interviewed think the costs of electricity will rise next year because of fuel costs, environmental compliance and capital costs.
But 62 percent of 1,000 consumers surveyed said they would pay five percent more for power to stop greenhouse gas emissions. Slightly more than half said they would support “clean coal” technology. Most of the nation’s power plants are fueled by coal.
Deloitte’s surveys “show a desire for more efficient energy and a willingness to pay some amount for it,” said Greg Aliff, vice chairman and U.S. Energy & Resources leader for Deloitte. “The real question is just how much these technology advances will actually cost, and how much consumers are going to willingly accept.”