An overwhelming majority of New Jerseyans support forcing utility companies to provide incentives for low-income residents to purchase energy-saving improvements to their homes, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll released Thursday.
Eight-tenths said they backed such a policy, with 50% avowing strong support and 30% somewhat supporting for such a program. About the same amount supported requiring low-income and affordable housing meet energy-efficiency standards.
But, residents aren’t too keen on funding those endeavors. Only 6% said they would support a surcharge meant to combat climate change on their utility bills. Fort-five percent said residents should pay a small share or nothing at all.
Unsurprisingly, New Jerseyans also opposed tax hikes to make the state more weather resistant, with 54% opposing such a tax and 40% favoring the same.
Residents did support programs to help those affected by extreme weather — such as the many displaced by Hurricane Sandy — rebuild or relocate, and a plurality of residents, 50%, supported barring homeowners from rebuilding in flood-prone regions of the state. Forty-three percent said the government should not impose such restrictions.
“Views on climate change are starkly divided by partisanship and other key demographic factors,” Eagleton Poll Director Ashley Koning said. “Some groups are much more concerned than others, and this concern drives knowledge, access to different types of information, and support for related initiatives. Yet no matter the level of concern, New Jerseyans across the board are against personally paying for most solutions – symptomatic of their larger dissatisfaction with taxes and cost of living in the Garden State.”
Residents did say they would be willing to pay an additional 50 cents per month on their electric bill to make homes more energy efficient, with 28% strongly supporting the measure and 27% somewhat supporting the same.