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Canadians prepared to spend to protect the environment


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January 14, 2013

The School of Public Policy at the University of Calgary recently released a report that analyzed the results of a survey that measures the energy efficiency literacy of Canadians. The study also revealed that the Canadian public trusts academics more than any other group for their source of energy information. The survey, which polled 1508 Canadians from coast to coast,  revealed that while Canadians have a good general knowledge of energy use and costs, they lack detailed knowledge about environmental impacts and alternative fuels. It also found that 45 per cent of Canadians believed (incorrectly) that Canada was either a net importer of energy, its energy exports and imports were roughly the same, or did not know the answer. Regional differences were also identified. In fact, many residents of Prince Edward Island, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Alberta were not able to identify the primary sources of electricity generation in their own province. On the positive side, a large proportion of Canadians are interested in bringing about change with more than 50 per cent of respondents indicating they would pay $10 a month more for energy to help mitigate negative impacts on the environment. Support remained relatively strong at 47 per cent when costs escalated to $30 a month. An overwhelming 77 per cent of respondents indicated they were concerned about environmental issues related to energy. To read the report, visit www.policyschool.ucalgary.ca/publications. File from Heads Up Energy Efficiency Newsletter – December 2012.


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