Energy projects: not in my backyard!

quebecois-favorablesQuebecers are favorable to the implementation in their province of power lines, pipelines or natural gas wells … provided that these projects do not emerge in their neighborhood, a new study shows that perfectly the phenomenon of “not in my backyard”.

Based on an extensive survey, the report Energy and climate change – Quebec Perceptions, released Wednesday by CIRANO in Montreal and the Institute of the Trottier Energy Polytechnique Montreal, shows that a plurality of Québécois supports the implementation of major energy projects in Québec.

For most projects likely to have an environmental impact, however, the support would fall “significantly” – an average of about twenty percentage points – if carried out near the residence of respondents.

Thus, 54% of Quebecers are in favor of high-voltage lines, but only 33% would accept such a line passes close to home. For pipelines, support would increase from 46 to 27%. The decline was less pronounced for wind farms, but a three Quebecers would nevertheless objected to the towers with three blades grow close to home.

“The phenomenon of” not in my backyard “is clearly there,” says Nathalie DeMarcellis-Warin, co-author of the study and Vice President of CIRANO.

This is not the only paradox in the report, which notes that “the individual well-being seems to be favored over collective well-being” overwhelmingly in favor of renewable energies such as solar or wind power, Quebecers reveal little by cons willing to pay more to finance the development of these sectors.

According to the survey, 61% of Quebecers would not agree to pay $ 50 more per month for their electricity to allow the development of renewable energies. The current average monthly bill is $ 110 per household. The suggested increase would bring the Québec rates charged in Ontario.

“People seem to say that they already pay enough taxes and that we must find other ways,” says DeMarcellis-Warin. “Knowing that the energy and environmental challenges are still in the top 3 concerns of Quebecers, I expected that people are willing to pay. But this is not the case. ”

Price sensitive

However, if such an increase in electricity rates materialize, Quebecers will not stand idly by: three-quarters of them would reduce their consumption. Similarly, if the price of gasoline, which is this month around $ 1.17 a liter, climbed sustainable at $ 2, half of them would buy an electric car or low consumption, or both.

This is what was told to the authors of the study that “in terms of individual behavior, Quebecers seem to be willing to change some of their habits, but [that] the main change criterion seems to be mostly the cost “.

The report notes that only 59% of respondents believe that their behavior and consumption habits may influence the total energy consumption in Quebec. “Could we think that there is a lack of incentives to change our behavior?” The authors ask.

“It would better explain that each individual can play its part to change the situation, says Ms. DeMarcellis-Warin. We should find ways to show them that even if it costs them more expensive, it can bring a lot to the society. ”

Methodology
The study presents the results of a survey that the Institute Leger Marketing survey conducted by Internet from 1010 Quebecers between 16 and 20 April 2015. Respondents were selected using the quota method and strata. The distribution of the national 2011 census age, gender, region, language and education was respected in the sample. The margin of error for a survey of 1,000 respondents is +/- 3.1%.

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