Update

64 Per Cent of Voters Want Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Be in Public Ownership, With Only 8 Percent Opposed

New polling from YouGov, commissioned by Common Wealth, finds substantial support for public ownership of renewables.
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Update

64 Per Cent of Voters Want Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Be in Public Ownership, With Only 8 Percent Opposed

New polling from YouGov, commissioned by Common Wealth, finds substantial support for public ownership of renewables.
Executive Summary

New polling from YouGov, commissioned by the think tank Common Wealth, shows that 66 per cent of voters support the policy of creating "GB Energy — a publicly owned energy company", compared to 6 per cent of voters who were opposed.

Alongside this, when asked whether renewable energy infrastructure should be publicly owned or privately owned, 64 per cent answered publicly owned and 8 per cent preferred private ownership. 22 per cent of those questioned answered "don’t know", while 6 per cent answered "neither".

The polling, from YouGov, shows that eleven times as many people support the GB Energy proposal as oppose it.

61 per cent of those surveyed who voted Conservative in 2019 supported establishing a publicly owned clean energy company, with just 11 per cent favouring private ownership.

The YouGov poll found that 68 per cent of people think that the current amount of offshore wind that is publicly owned — less than 1 per cent — is too little. Only 9 per cent think that figure is about right.

The polling comes after Labour announced they would invest £8.3 billion in a new public energy company — GB Energy — over the course of five years. The announcement came as part of the shrinking of their total investment in their Green Prosperity Plan, which had stood at £28 billion a year by the end of the Parliament, subject to Labour’s fiscal rules.

The polling revealed those surveyed thought GB Energy should prioritise cutting household bills (59 per cent), investing in UK renewable projects (49 per cent) and protecting the UK energy system from external shocks (34 per cent).

A majority of Brits believe GB Energy will have a positive impact on household bills (53 per cent) and energy security (62 per cent). 56 per cent of the population think GB policy will have a positive impact on the UK economy and 49 per cent on British identity. The majority of Conservative voters (54 per cent) believe the policy will have a positive impact on British identity — the highest of all three main parties.

The polling comes a day after a report by the think tank Common Wealth found that GB Energy could save up to £1 billion in building renewables over a five year Parliament, based on lower cost of borrowing compared to private energy developers.

The polling results can be read here.

[.quote][.quote-text]The idea of harnessing our homegrown resources to deliver cheap clean power and genuine energy security is hugely popular across all sections of the public. Even Conservative voters want energy in public hands. Labour’s GB Energy has the potential to realise those ambitions and be a clear and popular point of difference at the election. But if Keir Starmer is going to cash in on the idea’s popularity, Labour must invest with ambition as the surest route to delivering energy security and lower bills.[.quote-text][.quotee]Mathew Lawrence, Director of Common Wealth[.quotee][.quote]

[.fig][.fig-title]Q: To what extent would you personally support or oppose a policy to create "GB Energy" — a publicly owned energy company which invests in renewable energy and clean power technologies?[.fig-title][.fig]

[.notes]Source: YouGov[.notes]

[.fig][.fig-title]Q: To what extent would you personally support or oppose a policy to create "GB Energy" — a publicly owned energy company which invests in renewable energy and clean power technologies?[.fig-title][.fig]

[.notes]Source: YouGov[.notes]

[.fig][.fig-title]Q: Thinking about Britain’s future energy needs, would you rather that Britain’s renewable energy infrastructure was in…[.fig-title][.fig]

[.notes]Source: YouGov[.notes]

[.fig][.fig-title]Q: Currently, the UK government owns less than 1% of UK offshore wind generation, do you think this is…[.fig-title][.fig]

[.notes]Source: YouGov[.notes]

Notes

The poll was conducted by YouGov on the 10th and 12th February. 2042 adults were surveyed. The results are weighted.

Full Text
64 Per Cent of Voters Want Renewable Energy Infrastructure to Be in Public Ownership, With Only 8 Percent Opposed
Footnotes